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Transition in the Gabelli School of Business | A Message from the Provost


Dear Members of the Fordham Community:

I write to inform you that Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., has decided to step down as Dean of the Gabelli School of Business, effective June 30, 2022. For more than fifteen years, Donna has advanced Fordham’s business programs through her distinguished service as Dean. She is excited to now be able to return to the Gabelli faculty and devote herself anew to teaching, learning and research.

In 2015, Donna led the unification of Fordham’s undergraduate and graduate business schools into a high-functioning Gabelli School of Business with a strong presence on the Rose Hill, Lincoln Center, Westchester, and London campuses. Overseeing significant growth in business enrollments at the undergraduate and graduate levels, she launched the school’s first doctoral programs: a Ph.D. program now in its sixth year; and a Doctor of Professional Studies program that trains international executives in the foundational principles of academic business research.

Donna has developed a number of multifaceted, highly visible corporate partnerships to support student learning, co-curricular opportunities, and faculty research. The Gabelli School now embodies a culture that values high-quality, high-impact research, as evidenced by faculty members publishing more than 500 refereed journal articles in the last five years with nearly seventy-five appearing in the Financial Times top-50.

Through Donna’s visionary leadership and commitment to the distinctive characteristics of Jesuit education, the reputation and standing of the school has been on an upward trajectory. Within the business education marketplace, Fordham has become widely recognized as a flagship institution promoting responsible and sustainable business and graduating leaders with purpose. The MBA program moved from being unranked in US News & World Report to the current position of #63. The school holds seven top-25 academic area rankings in US News, and the undergraduate program is currently ranked #22 by Poets & Quants.

I am pleased to announce that Lerzan Aksoy, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean in the Gabelli School of Business, has agreed to serve as interim Dean of the Gabelli School of Business beginning July 1, 2022. Lerzan has been leading undergraduate studies and strategic initiatives within the dean’s office for the past seven years, and she is well-positioned to serve as the School’s interim dean through June 30, 2023. This fall, we will commence a national search for the permanent dean of the Gabelli School of Business, with the expectation of appointing the successful candidate by July 1, 2023.

Please join me in thanking Donna for her many contributions to Fordham and wishing her every joy as she reengages in the fulfilling work of research and teaching.


Dennis C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


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