Meet Robert Mangione


Rev. Donald J. Harrington C.M., President of the University, announced on June 29 that Dr. Robert A. Mangione would assume the role of interim provost until a search committee could find a permanent replacement for the position.

“I trust that the University community will join me in offering Bob our gratitude and support as he assumes this new assignment until a permanent provost is named,” Fr. Harrington said in a press release.

Dr. Julia Upton announced last year that she would be leaving the role of provost at the end of the Spring 2012 semester, to return as a professor of theology, and will hold the title of special assistant to the president.

A nationwide search was then announced to fill the position. A committee, headed by Dr. Michael Simons, dean of the law school, was unable to find a permanent replacement.

Mangione said that Fr. Harrington approached him with the idea of becoming interim provost and said that he had no hesitation at all about accepting the proposal.

“When Father [Harrington] gave me this wonderful opportunity, I was ecstatic, and I’m going to do the best I can to be the best academic leader I can be,” he said.

Dr. Simons said that it was necessary to name an interim provost, so that the day-to-day operations of the University could continue.

“Because the provost role is so important to the University, the seat really can’t be empty,” he said.

“There are specific things in the University governance that get done by the provost, that if there isn’t a provost, those things aren’t going to happen,” Simons said.

Mangione explained that the fact that although his position as provost is temporary, it would not hinder his drive to perform the duties that his position entails.

“I will do everything I can, with whatever time I have to serve to the best of my ability,” he said. “I don’t think in those terms,” he said about the position being temporary.

“I just think that there is work to be done and I’ve been given this privilege to lead the academic sector and I hope to live up to that responsibility.”

According to the position profile drafted by the search committee, the provost is responsible for overseeing all of the University’s academic divisions, the University Libraries and several offices, for the three New York campuses and those abroad.

Mangione has been a part of the University faculty for more than 30 years, as well as having received his B.S. in Pharmacy, M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a P.D. and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision, all from the University. He joined the staff in 1979 and was appointed the assistant dean for pharmacy student affairs in 1990, associate dean in 1996 and dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1999.

Fr. Harrington has announced that Dr. S. William Zito will be the acting dean of the college of pharmacy and health sciences.

When asked if he would like to return to the role of dean of pharmacy, Dr. Mangione said that is what he would like to do, but would cooperate with any decision made by the University.

“I would hope that I would be permitted to do so,” he said about returning to do dean position. “I would hope that would be shared if I wasn’t appointed provost.”

In the search for a new provost, Dr. Mangione is one of the candidates who is being considered for the permanent position. He said that it was suggested to him by his colleagues to throw his name in the race for the position back in February, but at the time could not accept due to his wife being seriously ill at the time.

Mangione revealed that since then his wife has recovered and that is why he had no hesitation in accepting the interim provost role.

When discussing his role as provost, Dr. Mangione said that he didn’t want to change the way that Dr. Upton had previously been running the office, at least for the time being.

“I think that being very new in the position it’s premature to try to conclude if certain things should be done different,” he said.

“If in fact we do get to that point, it will only be because the circumstances changed and not that Dr. Upton didn’t do something well. Things constantly change and we have to adapt to them.”

An email was sent out to the general student body during the summer, and the announcement was made on the University’s official Facebook and Twitter page.

When asked if he had any plans to interact with the student body to help introduce himself as the new interim provost, Mangione said that it would have to be something that he would have to teach himself throughout the next few weeks.

“The role that the provost plays in terms interacting with students is one that I’ll continue to learn,” he said. “As a dean, the highlights of my deanship were interacting with faculty and students, so I have every intention of continuing that.”