Marvin Krislov Named Eighth President of Pace University

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Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College since 2007, has been unanimously elected the eighth president of Pace University and will begin his duties on August 1, 2017. Krislov, 56, will succeed Stephen J. Friedman, 78, who announced in February 2016 that he planned to step down after 13 years with Pace, including the last 10 as president.

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Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College since 2007, has been unanimously elected the eighth president of Pace University, announced Mark M. Besca ’81, chairman of the Board of Trustees. Krislov will begin his duties as president of Pace on August 1, 2017. Krislov, 56, will succeed Stephen J. Friedman, 78, who announced in February 2016 that he planned to step down after 13 years with Pace, including the last 10 as president.

“On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I am pleased to welcome Marvin Krislov as the next president of Pace,” said Besca. “Pace plays an essential role in the realization of individual dreams of achievement. Our mission is voiced in the motto, Opportunitas, and Marvin embodies it. He is the ideal person to lead Pace into a new era of growth and build on the renewal and revitalization that Pace has experienced under Steve Friedman. Marvin has demonstrated throughout his career the strong, effective, enlightened, and passionate leadership to propel Pace to a new level of impact and stature.”

Krislov said, “I am honored to be chosen to lead Pace University during this exciting period of growth and revitalization as the University advances its position as one of the nation’s foremost institutions in fostering the leaders of tomorrow. Pace’s commitment to access and pathways to success for students inspires me. I look forward to joining a community of scholars and leaders who are dedicated to academic excellence and who have such a powerful impact on so many lives.”

Krislov’s selection follows a process that began last March and was led by a 15-member search committee representing trustees, faculty, administrators, alumni, benefactors, and students. The committee spent thousands of hours vetting candidates nominated from across the Pace Community and around the country. The search committee chair, Richard F. Zannino ’84, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, said, “Marvin was the committee’s first and unanimous choice among the many highly qualified candidates we interviewed during our search process. Our goal was to identify a leader who had an abiding affinity for Pace’s mission of Opportunitas and could further accelerate the remarkable progress and momentum achieved under Steve Friedman. In Marvin, we have found that leader.”

Zannino stressed the importance of the University community to the search, “From the nominations phase through the final stages of this process, this great community showed its enthusiasm for Pace and for the future of the University. The Board and the search committee were buoyed by that interest and passion. It not only helped attract a superb pool of candidates from across the country, but also helped make clear to Marvin the exciting potential of Pace.”

Krislov comes to Pace after a transformational 10 years leading Oberlin. During his leadership, Oberlin became more inclusive, strengthened its academic programs, improved student outcomes, created new career opportunities for faculty and staff, expanded fundraising and alumni participation, and improved its campus facilities. As a result of Krislov’s leadership and vision, Oberlin:

  • Created the Oberlin Access Initiative, which removed the loan burden for hundreds of Pell Grant-eligible students, making the college more inclusive and diverse while enrolling greater numbers of highly qualified low-income, first-generation students.
  • Doubled external grants earned by faculty in the sciences.
  • Secured external funding to expand and strengthen programs that integrate arts and science faculty, conservatory faculty and the art museum, and the arts and technology.
  • Initiated a new era of environmental action and sustainability, including the creation of the Green Arts District.
  • Constructed a new jazz studies building, a new stadium complex, and a new natural gas power plant to replace a coal-fired facility.
  • Acquired and converted the historic Apollo Theatre in downtown Oberlin into a cinema and cinema studies complex, and brought the Toni Morrison Society headquarters to campus.

Krislov also has led the most successful comprehensive fundraising campaign in Oberlin’s history. Its $250 million target was achieved 18 months ahead of schedule, raising a total of $318 million, and dramatically boosting alumni participation.

Pace Professor Nancy Reagin, PhD, commented, “I’m very pleased to welcome Marvin Krislov to Pace as our next president. Marvin is enthusiastic about Pace’s mission and unique strengths, and he has the skills and accomplishments that we need at this moment in our history. He’ll provide effective, collaborative leadership for our community; I am also confident that he’ll approach all challenges with good judgment and good humor.”

While serving as president of Oberlin, Krislov has continued to teach and be active in public service. He has taught advanced courses every semester on aspects of law and public policy. In November 2009, he was appointed to the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Through his writings, speeches and public appearances, and his service to the NEH, Krislov has raised Oberlin’s international and national profile.

Prior to Oberlin, Krislov was at the University of Michigan, where he had served as vice president and general counsel since 1998. During his tenure there, he led the University of Michigan’s legal defense of admission policies that recognize the importance of student diversity, which prevailed in a major 2003 Supreme Court decision.

Krislov served in the U.S. Department of Labor as acting solicitor from 1997–1998 and for two years before that as deputy solicitor of national operations. He took the position in the department after serving as associate counsel in the Office of Counsel to the President.

Krislov earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Yale University in 1982, and was named a Rhodes Scholar. He earned master’s degrees at the University of Oxford and Yale, and in 1988 earned a juris doctor degree from Yale Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

More information on Krislov is available at

Pace Progress

  • Real-world education: Through the Pace Path, the University gives students a real-world education with an integrated combination of strong academics, dedicated mentors, internships, and a customized four-year growth plan for each student.
  • Pace University ranks first in New York—and second in the nation—at catapulting students from the bottom fifth of income distribution into the top fifth. A 2017 study by the Equality of Opportunity Project ranking Top Colleges by Mobility finds that Pace graduates are out-earning their parents and peers, bucking a nationwide trend for Millennials.
  • Market-ready graduates: 95% of Pace undergraduates who use Career Services are employed within six months of graduation.
  • Expert faculty: 90% of Pace faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees, and 276 new, full-time faculty have been hired in the last 10 years.
  • Research growth: In 2015, Pace faculty secured 86 public and private grants totaling $7.4 million, including from the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.
  • National reputation: Princeton Review ranks Pace as one of the best colleges in the Northeast, U.S. News & World Report ranks the environmental law program #3 in the country, and The Hollywood Reporter ranks the undergraduate and graduate performing arts programs among the 25 best in the world.
  • Stronger campuses: Multi-million dollar investments are expanding and enhancing the student experience infrastructure of the Lower Manhattan and Westchester County campuses.

About Pace University: Since 1906, Pace has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in Lower Manhattan and Westchester County, NY, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, Elisabeth Haub School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.


Contact: Scott Trent, strent(at)pace(dot)edu, 212-346-1152

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Cara Cea
Pace University
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