Utica University Begins New Era by Naming Next President
Utica University has named Dr. Todd Pfannestiel as the University's next president, the 10th president in the University's history since being founded in 1946. Pfannestiel will assume his duties as August 1st, when Dr. Laura Casamento retires on July 31st, following what the school calls a "highly accomplished seven-year presidency."
"Utica University's future as a leader in higher education and an influential contributor in the region continues to grow," says Pfannestiel, who currently serves as Utica's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "I am honored to serve the institution and its amazing students, faculty, and staff along that path," he said.
"As with many universities, we face challenges which together we will address head-on with the same spirit that has become a hallmark at Utica," he continues. "My wife and I are excited about what the future holds for al of our Pioneer family."
Dr. Casamento will step down in July after leading Utica through several transformations, including COVID-19, an active shooter hoax, the transition from college to university, and the recent efforts to sunset about a dozen unpopular curricula to make room for new academic programs that fit the current economy.
Pfannestiel has 25 years of experience in higher education, as a faculty member, school dean, and senior administrator. Over the last four years, he has served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Utica, he has led and collaborated closely with faculty on a variety of initiatives to raise the academic profile of the university and
further its mission. Pfannestiel was instrumental in the recently implemented redesign of the university's general education curriculum, as well as the launch of a number of innovative academic programs designed to address emerging workforce and societal needs, including the M.S. in Social Work, the Family Nurse Practitioner M.S. and graduate certificate, the M.S. in Data Science, and others.
Prior to coming to Utica, Pfannestiel was a professor of history at Clarion University of Pennsylvania for 20 years, where he served as Dean of the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences, interim provost, and acting president.
A native of Oklahoma, Pfannestiel and his wife Dr. Aimee Zellers, an associate professor of philosophy at Carlow University, reside in Sauquoit, N.Y.