On Aug. 1, the Office of the Vice President for Administration announced that Kareem Peat, J.D., will join the Fordham administration as the university’s new Title IX coordinator. Peat’s appointment is the latest in a series of upper level replacements and assignments, reflecting the changing face of Fordham’s leadership in preparation for the fall semester.
In the past month alone, Fordham’s administration has witnessed numerous shifts in some of the highest ranks of the university. Often, the most significant changes have also been the least expected.
In June, University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., drafted a public statement detailing the departure of Rev. Robert S. Grimes, S.J. from his position as dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, one he has held for more than 20 years. Many had expected Grimes to return after taking a leave of absence from the 2018 spring semester. Less than two weeks later, the news of University Provost Stephen M. Freedman’s death sent still more shockwaves through the Fordham community.
Along with Peat’s appointment, McShane composed a roundup of the other “major changes” among the senior leadership.
Associate Vice President for Administration Frank Simio will take the place of Brian Byrne, vice president for Lincoln Center, who is retiring this summer, he said.
The changes also included two high-level promotions: Vice President for Enrollment Peter Stace will return as senior vice president for Enrollment and Strategy, while Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Enrollment John Buckley has become vice president for Admission and Student Financial Services.
Finally, Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer Frank Sirriani is retiring from his position after a 40-year career leading the way for technology in higher education. His post will be occupied by an interim administrator while a nationwide search commences, according to McShane.
The president and other university officials have commended the work of the several search committees tasked with filling these administrative posts. The Arts and Sciences Working Group are charged with advising the decision on Grimes’ replacement. She and a number of senior administrators chaired the council responsible for Peat’s appointment.
Vice President for Administration Thomas A. Dunne applauded the committee. “Their hard work and insight were enormously helpful in filling the position with a candidate who is both highly qualified and a good fit for the University,” he said.
Peat, who worked previously as acting Title IX coordinator of Cornell University, will replace Patricia Scaglione, who has held an interim position since last February. There he was responsible for many of the duties Fordham entrusts to its Title IX Coordinator.
According to Dunne, Peat, whose official position at Cornell was deputy Title IX coordinator (a title Fordham reserves for its deans of students), has overseen the reports, reviews and verdicts of sexual misconduct cases, as well as the “issuance of temporary suspensions.”
For now, the positions of dean of Lincoln Center, university provost and vice president for technology and chief information officer remain without long-term appointments.
This article was updated on August 7, 11:21 AM: A previous version of this article stated Dr. Frank Sirianni would be resigning from his position. He is in fact retiring after a 40-year career.