Manhattanville College President Dr. Michael Geisler announces his resignation
13th of Manhattanville Collegeth President, Michael E. Geisler, Ph.D., who has led the school into a new era and successfully guided it through the pandemic, has announced that he will be retiring effective June 30.
Louise Feroe, Ph.D., former acting president and former interim provost, will serve as interim president as the college conducts a statewide search for Geisler’s successor beginning this summer.
“DR. Geisler brought and imparted a vision to combine the traditional strengths of a liberal arts curriculum with the modern needs of educating a humane workforce for tomorrow’s marketplace,” said Michael C. Dunn, alumnus and Board of Trustees-elect at Manhattanville College, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, “More than an administrator, Dr. Geisler was immersed in the culture and mission of Manhattanville and deeply valued our 175+ years as a college. He was an integral part of the history of Manhattanville, and his contributions will be felt for generations to come.”
In homage to Geisler’s tenure, the board of trustees announced that they would rename the school’s Center for Design Thinking, one of Geisler’s outstanding achievements, in his honor. They also grant him President Emeritus status at the college.
Since arriving in 2016, Geisler, unanimously elected by the school’s board of trustees, has transformed Manhattanville College into a more modern version of a liberal arts school that combines the values and tradition of a well-rounded liberal arts education with professional education and other career-oriented ones programs. Under his leadership, the school established a new School of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2020 and formed partnerships, including one with the New York Institute of Finance in 2021, which will attract new students and revenue.
Under Geisler’s leadership, Manhattanville was recognized US News and World Report as the number one private nonprofit school in the Regional Universities North category for Top Performers of Social Mobility and was recognized by the US Department of Education as a Hispanic Serving Institution, which has enabled it to serve more Latinx students to recruit and seek funding nationwide to support them.
One of Geisler’s outstanding achievements was the founding of the school’s Center for Design Thinking. The center has helped attract new students and is a marriage between Manhattanville’s liberal arts tradition and a new way of employing critical thinking skills that are more compatible with the modern era. College students can now earn a certificate in design thinking, making them more marketable to employers.
Geisler’s leadership has been vital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping keep the school open and operational, transitioning to a hybrid model, and later reopening and maintaining one of the lowest infection rates among colleges in the state. During this time, Manhattanville also refinanced its capital debt at lower interest rates and laid out a strong financial plan for the future.
Geisler retires to spend time with his family and to travel. He said he was honored to have served as President and proud to be leaving Manhattanville in such a good place.
“Our incoming class this fall will have the largest annual increase in a single year in decades,” Geisler said. “We’re up more than 50% in freshman/full-time students and more than 40% in transfer students this fall. For the first time in years we will very likely have more than 400 new students this fall. Graduate admissions are also showing early signs of a significant increase this fall.”
“It has been a great privilege to lead this college even during the pandemic, and leaving Manhattanville with an unprecedented surge in enrollment gives me confidence that I have done the work I was hired to do six years ago,” said Geisler. “Manhattanville will always have a special place in my memories.”