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Fordham Vice President Named to Premier 100 IT Leader List

Frank Sirianni, Ph.D., vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Fordham, is one of Computerworld magazine’s Premier 100 IT Leaders.

Sirianni is recognized in the December issue, which highlights the accomplishments of those who have “used technology to have a positive impact on their organization.”

According to the magazine, “In the five-year budget he sent to the University’s board of directors, [Sirianni] vowed to further reduce energy, paper and printing costs by seven figures.”

“It’s my personal mission to come up with new sources of revenue or ways to save money,” Sirianni told Computerworld.

Describing his leadership philosophy, he said, “Teach the corporate strategies; model the desired behavior; build teams with shared accountability. Clearly articulate the vision and lay out the path to meeting them.”

According to the Computerworld Web site, a premier IT leader guides the effective use of information technology to improve his or her company’s business performance.

The 78 men and 22 women who make up the Premier 100 list are vice presidents, CIOs, directors and managers from several IT sectors, including network management, database management, intranet and Web management and help desk.

More than 1,000 nominations for the 2009 list were collected in April and May. Computerworld editors invited the nominees to complete a comprehensive management/leadership questionnaire online during June and July. The candidates were asked about a range of topics, including their backgrounds, work experiences, special accomplishments, leadership styles, technology priorities and strategies and other details about the IT environments they have fostered at their companies.

The magazine described the men and women who make up the list as “collaborators and consolidators. They are environmental and social policy leaders at their organizations. They tend to ignore well-worn lines of demarcation between business and consumer technology and are supporting blogs, wikis, iPhones and social networks. They deploy what works rather than what’s politically safe.”

Sirianni, who has been at Fordham since 2005, told Computerworld he would like to hold the titles of president and CEO. He described his job in the field of information technology as “coordinating creative people at disciplined tasks.”

Before coming to Fordham, Sirianni served as the vice president and chief information officer at the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. He began his career in educational administration in 1981 as the director of research and information and dean of freshmen at Ramapo College in New Jersey.

—Gina Vergel

Carvel Foundation Contributes to Graduate School of Education

An education support network overseen by the Graduate School of Education (GSE) received a $35,000 gift from the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation. Carvel board members presented the check on Nov. 13 in a ceremony at the University’s administration building on the Rose Hill campus.

The gift benefits the Malcolm Wilson Educational Support Center Network, which is named after former New York governor Malcolm Wilson, a Fordham graduate who sat on the Carvel board. Carvel already had given $175,000 to the network.

On hand to accept the gift was Vincent Alfonso, Ph.D., associate dean for academic affairs at GSE. He was joined by Thomas A. Dunne, vice president for government relations and urban affairs at Fordham.

The Wilson Network has provided individual and group counseling, academic remediation, tutoring and crisis counseling to 1,300 children at seven schools since it began, Alfonso said. “It is a very valuable project and program; it’s certainly supported by Fordham and now, once again, by Carvel, so we really appreciate it.”

—Patrick Verel

EMBA Program Lauded for Return on Investment in Journal Rankings

At a time when corporations are pulling back on educational spending, prospective students looking for executive master of business administration (EMBA) programs want the most bang for their buck. Fordham’s EMBA program offers that and then some, according to the latest rankings in The Wall Street Journal.

Fordham’s EMBA program landed among the top 20 American EMBA programs sorted by return on investment (ROI), according to the Journal. The list, as well as a ranking of international programs, appeared in the Dec. 10 issue.

“Prospective and current students are willing to pay a premium for an executive MBA program as long as the school has a top brand and the format of the program is convenient for today’s busy executives. Fordham offers that,” said Francis Petit, Ed.D., assistant dean and director of executive programs in the Graduate School of Business Administration (GBA).

Petit attributes the success of the 22-month program to the caliber of its faculty.

“Faculty are the heart and soul of any EMBA program,” he said. “Fordham’s GBA faculty who teach within our program have done an outstanding job.”

This is the second honor bestowed on Fordham by the Journal this year. In its ranking of the world’s best EMBA programs based on overall excellence, published on Sept. 30, Fordham finished 25th.

The latest poll, in which Journal editors investigated more thoroughly the information collected for the earlier ranking, relied heavily on data culled from surveys of EMBA graduates. Categories included salary; raises received after graduation; company sponsorship; tuition; and out-of-pocket costs.

The Fordham program, which has a median total cost of $80,000, according to the Journal, has a five-year projected salary of $142,108, translating to an 80 percent return on investment. At number 20, Fordham is the highest-ranking New York program.

The typical student pursuing Fordham’s EMBA degree is a mid- to senior-level executive, about 33 years old, and making roughly $150,000.

“I have been in this business a long time and have seen the dwindling levels of corporate financial support for executive MBA programs,” Petit said. “Yet admissions applications, especially for international programs, have been increasing and the market is dictating that students are willing to pay more out of their pockets for such programs.”

While honored that the program ranked highly, Petit said ROI becomes less of an issue as students travel through the program.

“In many ways, the EMBA experience transforms their thinking—how they look at strategy and business development issues—as well as increases their self esteem and confidence,” he said. “They become part of a tight group and this bond lasts well beyond graduation. The networking component of the EMBA and the students’ relationships with each other are really very powerful.”

—Gina Vergel

Lessons and Carols at Rose Hill

The combined University choirs and the Bronx Arts Ensemble presented the annual Festival of Lessons and Carols on Dec. 7 at the University Church. The program included selections from Handel’s Messiah and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, as well as traditional carols with audience participation.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

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