Press Release

Joseph R. Franco, PhD, Named Pace University Provost

March 10, 2023
Joe Franco

Franco, a nationally licensed mental health counselor and clinical supervisor, has served in faculty and leadership roles at Pace for 36 years

Following a national search, Joseph R. Franco, Ph.D., has been appointed provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Pace University, the University announced on Wednesday.

Franco, a nationally licensed mental health counselor and clinical supervisor, has held an impressive array of leadership and faculty roles during his distinguished 36-year tenure at Pace University. Most recently, he served as interim provost since August following the departure of Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., who became president of California State University, Monterey Bay.

“Pace University has a proud tradition of creating opportunities for its students, and Dr. Franco embodies that mission,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “He has proven himself to be not only a collegial and compassionate leader but also someone deeply committed to the success of everyone in our Pace Community—our students, our staff, and our faculty. It is clear he brings to this role wisdom, experience, and a deep well of respect across the institution. I am very excited to continue to work with Joe, and eager to build on his successes at Pace.”

During his more than three decades at Pace, Franco has served in a variety of capacities. Prior to serving as interim provost, he was an associate provost for academic affairs since December 2021. A member of the Pace faculty since 1987, he is a full professor in the Psychology and Mental Health Counseling Department on the Pleasantville Campus, and he has served as senior associate dean for Dyson College of Arts and Sciences as well as chair of the Westchester Faculty Council, among many other leadership roles.

“As a first-generation student, I understand Pace’s mission of Opportunitas and believe that the university continues to open doors and provide life-changing opportunities for its students, faculty, and staff,” Franco said. “I’m honored to serve Pace in this capacity, and excited about the important work we continue to do here across all of our campuses.”  

Franco has taught on the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, and he has served as program director and director of clinical field supervision for the master’s of science program in Mental Health Counseling. In 2021, Franco was honored with our Jefferson Award for Public Service. He is also a practicing clinician who is a licensed mental health counselor, a nationally certified counselor, and a past downstate president for the New York Association for Counselor Education and Supervision.

A native New Yorker, he holds a B.S. in psychology from Mercy College, two M.S. degrees from Long Island University, and an M.Phil and Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center.

Franco’s appointment comes at an exciting time for Pace University. The University is adding or revamping programs at Pace, mostly on the graduate level, to reflect market needs and demands and making significant investments in science labs, health care simulation labs, and classroom space. The university also recently announced plans for the transformation of One Pace Plaza, its central building in lower Manhattan, to include new academic spaces, a modernized residence hall, and a new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center that will serve its performing and creative arts programs.

About Pace University

Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. 

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