Dr. Frank Sánchez Named President of Manhattanville College

June 27, 2023
Dr. Frank Sánchez at Reid Castle
Dr. Frank Sánchez

The college’s first Latino president brings a strong track record of innovation, student-ready programs, and collegiate transformation

PURCHASE, NY, June 27, 2023 – The Manhattanville College Board of Trustees has appointed Frank D. Sánchez, Ph.D., as the fifteenth president of the college. Sánchez brings extensive experience and visionary leadership at a time when Manhattanville is embarking on transformative changes to position itself for future growth.

Dr. Sánchez’s impressive track record as president of Rhode Island College (RIC), where he served from 2016 – 2022, included elevating the school’s “U.S. News and World Report” social mobility ranking to #2 among New England public institutions, dramatically growing student diversity, modernizing academic facilities, and significantly increasing fundraising, all of which aligns with strategic priorities at Manhattanville. Prior to RIC, Dr. Sánchez was Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's largest urban public university, with 25 colleges and graduate schools. At CUNY, he led the development and implementation of the first system-wide strategic plan for student affairs, supporting more than 500,000 students. 

Michael Dunn, Chair of Manhattanville's Board of Trustees, noted that the Board was impressed by Sánchez's background, clear sense of purpose, and belief in Manhattanville's powerful mission.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Sánchez as our new president," said Chairman Dunn. “His proven track record of transformative leadership, commitment to excellence, and dedication to student-centered education make him the ideal choice to guide Manhattanville through this pivotal moment in higher education. As president, Dr. Sánchez will play a crucial role in shaping the college's strategic direction, taking it to the next level towards fulfilling its mission of educating ethical and socially responsible leaders in a global community.”

Dr. Sánchez thanked the Board for their confidence in him to lead the 182-year-old college.

"I am grateful and inspired to join the Manhattanville College community and lead this storied institution at such an exciting and important time," he said. "The college is extremely well positioned to build on its successes of further advancing curricular innovation, elevating its value proposition, and designing a transformative educational experience for all."

Throughout his career, Sánchez has championed initiatives that promote access, equity, and diversity in higher education, making him a natural fit for Manhattanville given the college’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment. As Manhattanville’s first Latino president, Sánchez will draw upon his experience with modernizing systems to enable all individuals to realize their full potential.

At CUNY, Sánchez created numerous workforce development initiatives with public, private, and non-profit entities; led the development of the nation’s largest military-friendly higher education system; established city-wide partnerships to support foster youth; and connected city, state, and federal resources to the most economically disadvantaged students.  

CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez, Ph.D., commented on Sanchez’s unwavering commitment to student access and achievement: “During his years at CUNY and throughout his career, Dr. Sánchez has been known as an innovative advocate for student success, launching and expanding initiatives that emphasized the critical benefits of holistic support in boosting colleges’ retention and graduation rates. With his passion for making higher education ever more equitable, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, Dr. Sánchez is poised and well-equipped to lead Manhattanville College to a bright future.”

Manhattanville has been ranked the #1 private, non-profit school in New York for social mobility for two years by “U.S. News and World Report” in Regional Universities North. The college has earned a designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, evidence of the increasingly diverse student body and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Close to 40% of Manhattanville’s students identify as Hispanic.

Christopher Pappas, Ph.D., co-chair of the Manhattanville Faculty Council who served on the presidential search committee, said: “As the college adapts to the changing needs of students and the world, it has increasingly embraced an ethos of innovation with new approaches to academic program development, technology, interdisciplinarity, research, and the student experience. The college has made bold strategic moves in recent years: reimagining the liberal arts for today’s needs, adding programs in nursing, the health sciences, the natural sciences, data science, and computer science. The college is well-positioned to propel forward with Dr. Sanchez at the helm.” Pappas is professor of Biology and chair of the Division of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Computing.

During his presidency, the endowment at RIC grew from $28 to $42 million, and federal and state grants increased to $10.3 million annually. RIC has 7,000 students and an annual budget of $180 million.

Sánchez was raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming and has three sons aged 28, 27, and 19. Sánchez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, an M.S. degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University, Bloomington. A proponent of civic engagement and community involvement, he served as a member of the United Way of Rhode Island Board of Directors, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Providence Performing Arts Council, and the NCAA Division III Presidents' Council.

Board Chair Dunn thanked Louise Feroe, Ph.D., a former college president, who served as Manhattanville’s interim president for the last year while the Board conducted the national presidential search with Storbeck Search following the retirement of former President Michael Geisler, Ph.D.


About Manhattanville College

Manhattanville College is a private liberal arts institution dedicated to academic excellence, purposeful education, and social justice. Located 30 miles from New York City on a 100-acre suburban campus in the heart of Westchester County, Manhattanville enables easy access to robust entertainment offerings, educational resources, and business opportunities for its primarily residential and diverse student body. The college serves nearly 1,400 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students from more than 44 countries and 33 states. Founded in 1841, the college offers more than 75 undergraduate and graduate areas of study in the arts and sciences, education, business, creative writing, and continuing and executive education programs. Extracurricular offerings include more than 70 clubs and organizations and 23 NCAA Division III teams. To learn more, visit www.mville.edu.


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