Fordham University’s Donna Rapaccioli will step down as dean of the Gabelli School of Business after a 15-year tenure of academic excellence for Business with Purpose


University celebrates Rapaccioli’s significant impact on the Gabelli School of Business and his position as a leader in higher education for ESG-focused undergraduate and graduate business programs

New York, New York, June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — After more than 15 years of distinguished service, Dean Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., will step down as Dean of the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University , effective June 30, 2022. After his highly successful tenure as head of the Gabelli School, Rapaccioli will return to a teaching position within the school and once again dedicate himself to teaching, learning and looking.

In May, Fordham University President Reverend Joseph P. McShane, SJ, celebrated the influence Rapaccioli had on the Gabelli school by appointing her Dean Emeritus, and her work solidified the business program at the school. school as a leader in the principles of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. An alumnus of Fordham herself, Rapaccioli led the unification of Fordham’s undergraduate and graduate business schools in 2015 to form the highly successful Gabelli School of Business, named after Fordham business graduate Mario Gabelli. in 1965, following a key gift from Mr. Gabelli, Regina Pitaro, a graduate of Fordham in 1976, and the Gabelli Family Foundation. Significant growth in business enrollment at the undergraduate and graduate levels occurred under Rapaccioli’s leadership. In 2015, Rapaccioli launched the school’s first doctoral programs: a doctorate. program and a Doctor of Professional Studies program that trains international executives in the fundamentals of academic research in business.

The reputation and reputation of the Gabelli school was on a steady upward trajectory during Rapaccioli’s tenure. The full-time MBA program has gone from unranked in US News & World Report to its current position of #64. The school holds seven top 25 academic rankings in US News, and the undergraduate program is currently ranked #22 by Poets & Quants. In the business education market, true to the principles of Jesuit education, Fordham has become widely recognized as a leading institution promoting responsible and sustainable business. The high-quality, high-impact research culture of the Gabelli School is evidenced by faculty members who have published over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles over the past 5 years, nearly 75 of which appear in Financial Times Top 50.

Donna Rapaccioli’s role at the Gabelli School of Business has had a positive impact on students, faculty, and alumni through her unwavering dedication to the university. Additionally, during her time at Fordham as Dean, Rapaccioli has:

● Led the transformation of core curricula at the Gabelli School: in her role as Dean, Rapaccioli initiated the development and oversaw the implementation of
the integrated undergraduate core as well as applied learning opportunities, including the ground floor, which provides first-year students with a holistic view of business management and sustainable business practices. Under his leadership and guidance, the Gabelli School also launched three online MS programs, redesigned the PMBA program, and expanded the school’s STEM programs. These and other initiatives have resulted in a 20% increase in student enrollment over the past decade, while
Rapaccioli was dean.

● Established a commitment to business with purpose, social good and innovation: Rapaccioli’s focus on ESG standards at the Gabelli School has created an academic environment for students and professionals to engage and implement sustainable business practices. The Responsible Business Coalition, an incubator for modern business leaders to collaborate on real change, and the Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory (a network of students, faculty and alumni promoting social innovation) have enabled students and faculty to further practice the work of implementing ESG standards. in the business. Fordham was also named AshokaU
Changemaker Campus and the Gabelli School have distinguished themselves as a UN PRME champion institution. With this deep commitment to best business practices, Rapaccioli
established more than 85 business collaborations in support of student learning, extracurricular activities and faculty research, and raised $100 million for business education.

● Fostering a culture of community and student care: Rapaccioli’s student-centered approach has created a collaborative space for students and faculty
members. His commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging led to the creation of Gabelli School’s first DEI team. His time soliciting student feedback to continually ensure the college experience is the best it can be has led to significant improvements across campus, from supporting student mental health issues to creating an extensive alumni network to strengthen students’ career opportunities after graduation. With Rapaccioli’s work, undergraduate placement rates are 96% and internship placement rates are 98% (based on Class of 2021 data)

“It was an honor to share the achievements of Gabelli School teachers and students. I will look back on their successes – and their impacts on society – as the most rewarding part of my time as Dean,” Rapaccioli said. “It has been humbling and inspiring to be immersed in the culture of compassion and teamwork that defines the Gabelli School. When the time comes, I look forward to returning to my roots as a Gabelli School faculty member alongside the compassionate global business leaders of tomorrow.

Following the departure of Dean Rapaccioli, Lerzan Aksoy, Ph.D., current professor and Associate Dean at the Gabelli School, will serve as Acting Dean effective July 1, 2022. Aksoy has served in the Dean’s office for the past seven years, leading undergraduate studies and strategic initiatives.

A national search for the next dean of the Gabelli School of Business will begin in the fall. Fordham Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis Jacobs are expected to nominate a nominee by July 1, 2023. To learn more about Donna Rapaccioli and her accomplishments at Fordham University, please visit

Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University
Founded in 1920, the mission of the Gabelli School of Business is to inspire and empower positive global change, transforming students into compassionate business leaders and supporting faculty and students in the continuous generation of new knowledge . Gabelli School’s vision is to become a global leader in social innovation by inspiring and equipping its graduates to become business leaders who understand the sustainability challenges facing business and the environment. potential harnessing of the power of social responsibility for financial success and societal impact.

CONTACT: Wes Mangum FischTank PR 212-636-7773 [email protected]

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