Michael Geisler, Ph.D., became the thirteenth president of Manhattanville College in October of 2016. Before coming to Manhattanville, Geisler served as vice president for Risk and Compliance, professor of German, and former vice president for the Language Schools and Schools Abroad at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.
Under President Geisler’s visionary leadership, Manhattanville opened its new School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Center for Design Thinking which is among the first of its kind at a liberal arts college and serves as a valuable resource for businesses and non-profits. Geisler opened the Center for Inclusion, started the Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and created a new position of Chief Diversity Officer. He has stewarded the institution successfully through tough financial times in higher education due to the pandemic.
Geisler set the College on a path to success with the implementation of the Manhattanville Strategic Plan 2017-2020. The Strategic Plan centers on enhancing academics, building recognition and reputation, making connections, and financial management focused on growing revenue from new programs and increased fundraising, and leveraging and enhancing assets.
Geisler has raised the profile and reputation of the College and brought visibility through public events such as the branded series, “Castle Conversations” that brings high-profile authors and scholars to campus to discuss timely topics with audience participation. These have been popular with students, faculty and the public.
During his time as President, Geisler has grown the Board of Trustees, adding nine dynamic leaders in business, tech, finance, and healthcare. Geisler was chosen for the City and State Westchester Power 50 as well as the Responsible 100 in 2019 and the City and State Westchester Power 50 in 2020. He serves on the Boards of the Business Council of Westchester and the Keio Academy.
During his more than 20-year career at Middlebury, Geisler held a number of significant leadership roles devoted to strengthening, integrating, and expanding Middlebury’s brand, programs and enrollment. He is credited, among other significant accomplishments, with establishing two new Language Schools in Hebrew and Korean, graduate programs in Arabic, Chinese and Hebrew, and 22 new sites for Middlebury’s C.V. Starr Schools abroad.
Geisler received the German Abitur, the Staatsexamen (equivalent to the M.A.) in English and German from the University of Mannheim, and a Ph.D. in German literature from the University of Pittsburgh.
Before Middlebury, Geisler taught at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was born in Mannheim, in what was then West Germany. His wife of close to 30 years is Alice Leo, a nurse who works at Greenwich Hospital. Their daughter, Julia Larissa Geisler, graduated from college in 2016 after studying advertising and integrated marketing communications in New York City.