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Rochester Business Journal Recognizes Rooney, Railey

January 5, 2022

President Gerard J. Rooney and Provost Kevin Railey were featured in the Rochester Business Journal’s inaugural Power 30 in Higher Education list.

President Rooney and Provost Railey

According to the publication, the list includes academic leaders who have “helped Rochester’s higher education institutions reimagine themselves rapidly to keep students, faculty, and staff safe.”

Rooney, who has served as Fisher’s president since 2015, said that he values the opportunity to engage with students as they pursue their studies at Fisher. “It is a privilege to be part of their educational journey,” he said. “The transformational impact of education is palpable on our campus and visible in our graduates.”

Rooney joined the College in 1996 and served as executive vice president for enrollment, advancement, and planning prior to his presidential appointment. Throughout his tenure as president, he has made an indelible student, academic, community, and College-wide impact through a variety of initiatives guided by the College’s Strategic Plan: “Renewing our purpose. Broadening our impact.”

Under President Rooney’s leadership, Fisher has added a variety of new undergraduate and graduate offerings, including the launch of a clinically-oriented hybrid Pharm.D. pathway in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy – the first fully online Pharm.D. program in New York State. His vision for developing institutes and academic centers that build on institutional core competencies and broaden thought leadership beyond campus led to the creation of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement; the Family Business Initiative at the School of Business; the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing housed in the Wegmans School of Nursing, the first institute of its kind; and the recently established DePeters Family Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence.

Rooney has also launched Fisher Forward: The Campaign for St. John Fisher College, the largest fundraising campaign in the history of the College, with a goal of $75 million.

Railey joined the Fisher community as provost and vice president of academic affairs in 2016. Completing projects that improve educational outcomes for students, supporting faculty, and renewing the curriculum have been highlights of his time at Fisher. And while the pandemic created many challenges, he said that the faculty and staff went above and beyond every day to maintain Fisher’s commitment to students. “We did it by remembering what we believe in and making decisions based on our values,” he said.

At Fisher, Railey provides for academic leadership and administration in the areas of planning, developing, implementing, and assessing all academic programs and services, overseeing the College’s School of Arts and Sciences; School of Business; Wegmans School of Nursing; Wegmans School of Pharmacy; the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education; Lavery Library; and numerous areas of the Division of Academic Affairs. In addition, he serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and the Senior Staff.

During his time at Fisher, he led the adoption of the College’s most recent strategic plan, “Renewing Our Purpose. Broadening Our Impact.” The plan includes five pillars that are situated in the ideas of the College’s purpose and impact. Over the last several months, he has helped to re-engage the community in updating and extending the strategic plan to 2025.