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President Shank's Biography

Matthew D. Shank, Ph.D.
President, Marymount University
Arlington, Virginia

Matthew D. Shank became Marymount University’s sixth president in July 2011. With a strong commitment to Catholic higher education and an understanding of Marymount’s diverse, inclusive learning environment, he began his first year by initiating a visioning process to clarify the University’s identity and way forward. Input from the Marymount community contributed to the resulting vision, which states in part that “Marymount University will distinguish itself through a culture of engagement that fosters intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective.”

In recognition of his focus on preparing students for the globalized environment of the 21st century, Dr. Shank received the 2012 Global Education Leadership Award from the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC. Accepting the award on behalf of the University, he said, “The Council and Marymount share a common goal: Both organizations educate young people about global issues so that they will be prepared for success as citizens of a complex, diverse, and increasingly interdependent global community.” Dr. Shank also instituted an employee incentive program, Ideas at Work, to solicit cost-saving, revenue-generating, and process-improvement ideas from members of the University community. With high participation across departments, the program elicited creative thinking, collaboration, and a number of ideas that are being implemented.

President Shank is active in community and business organizations, serving on the boards of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Arlington Community Foundation, the Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia, American University in the Emirates (Dubai), Bishop O’Connell High School, Dominican Retreat House, and Leadership Arlington. He is an ex-officio member of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, a Global Advisory Group member of the World Affairs Council, and a community advisor to the Arlington Free Clinic and Arlington Public Schools.

In the academic community, he serves on the boards of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and the Washington Research Library Consortium. As Marymount’s president, Dr. Shank is also a member of many academic organizations, including the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Before coming to Marymount, Dr. Shank served for three years as dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of Marketing at the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, he was a faculty member at Northern Kentucky University and chaired the Department of Management and Marketing. During the 2003-04 academic year, he was an American Council on Education Fellow, assigned to the Office of the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Shank has also held academic appointments at the University of Mississippi and Southern Illinois University.

An accomplished scholar, Dr. Shank has published numerous articles, presented at many conferences, and is the author of the book Sports Marketing: A Strategic Perspective. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Presidential Perspectives: Quarterly Updates from Dr. Matt Shank