Marymount University President Announces Plans to Step Down Next Summer

After seven years as president of Marymount University, Dr. Matthew D. Shank has announced plans to step down effective June 30, 2018.

“I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve Marymount University,” said Shank. “It has been a joy to work with so many intelligent, passionate and genuinely caring faculty, staff, students and University constituents. Together, we have accomplished much, and as 2017 draws to a close, Marymount is strong and poised for even greater success.”

Given this strength and citing a number of initiatives either recently completed or nearing completion – such as the University’s five-year strategic plan, redevelopment of its Ballston Center, reaffirmation of its accreditation, and a capital campaign – Shank said the University is well positioned for a transition to its seventh president.

“After much personal reflection and prayer, I have asked Board of Trustees Chairperson Ed Bersoff to initiate a presidential search,” he said.

The consulting firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates will lead a national effort to select the school’s next president.

“Dr. Shank means more to Marymount than I can adequately express,” said Bersoff, chairman of Greenwich Associates, LLC. “We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his vision and leadership in the implementation of our strategic plan and development of a new master plan, the momentum of our $40 million capital campaign, enhancement of our reputation, the growth of our academic programs and facilities, and so much more.”

Bersoff added that Shank has the option of taking a year’s leave and then joining Marymount’s School of Business Administration in the fall of 2019 as a professor of marketing.
A well-respected teacher, scholar, and administrator, Shank assumed the presidency of Marymount in 2011 and has invigorated the campus community through collaborative development of a shared vision and emboldened academic and athletic programs with campus facilities to match.

In 2011-12, Shank led a task force charged with discerning a shared understanding of Marymount’s core values and organizational climate to articulate a vision for the University’s future. The campus-wide process clarified the University’s identity, resulting in its Common Ground tenets: Intellectual Curiosity, Global Perspective and Service to Others. Under these essential pillars, Marymount’s liberal arts education builds upon its founding mission to teach, mentor and develop servant-leaders.

On the heels of establishing the Marymount vision, Shank led development of the University’s Strategic Plan: Building the Institution of Choice, currently in its final year of implementation.

The expansion of academic programs during Shank’s administration has yielded increased diversity in the student population and an 11 percent increase in student retention rates. He has been an advocate for new, relevant academic programs such as a doctorate in cybersecurity, an undergraduate program in biochemistry and a graduate certificate in association management undertaken in collaboration with the American Society for Association Executives Center for Association Leadership. Other community connections have been forged as well. For example, a MedStar National Rehabilitation Network outpatient center is located in the same academic facility as Marymount’s physical therapy program, offering exceptional therapy services to the community while at the same time providing clinical rotations to MU physical therapy doctoral students.

Shank’s commitment to expand the global mosaic of the University was reflected in a bilateral cooperation agreement with Hungary’s National University of Public Service (NUPS) focusing on criminal justice, forensics and cybersecurity. He is also serving on the board of the American University of the Emirates and signed an agreement to promote exchange between the universities.

In recognition of Marymount’s focus on preparing students for today’s globalized environment, Shank accepted the 2017 Educator of the Year Award from the World Affairs Council-Washington, D.C.

In Fall 2016, Shank announced the most ambitious capital campaign in Marymount’s history. Under his entrepreneurial direction, the $40 million goal is on track to be met this fiscal year, more than two years ahead of schedule.

During his tenure, Marymount’s campus has experienced considerable growth and improvement. The main campus saw a multimillion-dollar renovation to academic, residential and athletic facilities, as well as its chapel. Most recently, the University opened its new Ballston Center. Located two miles from the main campus, the innovative mixed-use complex includes an academic tower with six floors of educational space and another three floors to be leased to businesses, offsetting costs of the new facility with additional revenues. The Rixey, a 12-story residential building, connects to the academic tower by a public courtyard/green space. Ballston Center puts MU in the very heart of a key business corridor and brings vibrancy to the neighborhood with daily foot traffic of students and staff, office workers and residents.

In broader academic circles, Shank is a board member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges and Washington Research Library Consortium. He was named to the NCAA Presidential Advisory Group & President’s Council. Recently, he joined the board of the National Catholic Education Association. He is a member of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

An active civic leader, he serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Arlington Community Foundation, Catholic Business Network of Northern Virginia, Bishop O’Connell High School and Leadership Center for Excellence. He is an ex-officio member of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and community advisor to Arlington Free Clinic, Arlington Public Schools and Hispanic Scholarship Fund Advisory Council.

Before assuming the presidency of Marymount, Shank was dean of the University of Dayton School of Business Administration and chaired Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Management and Marketing. He was an American Council on Education Fellow in the Office of the Chancellor at Vanderbilt University and held academic appointments at the University of Mississippi and Southern Illinois University.

Shank has published numerous articles and authored Sports Marketing: A Strategic Perspective (5th Edition). He has consulted with more than 75 organizations on strategic planning, and marketing research and strategy.