Dr. Francesco Cesareo brings a holistic understanding to education. His work studying the Renaissance led Dr. Cesareo to recognize the importance of a multifaceted approach in his own classroom. He reflects, “Humanistic education in the Renaissance period was an education that sought to make one more fully human, to form someone in terms of the whole person. When I began my academic career, I realized that I needed to bring that alive to my students. I brought this same understanding of education into my administrative roles.”
Throughout his career, Dr. Cesareo has integrated a variety of innovative, immersive, and interdisciplinary strategies to yield better outcomes for his students and institutions. He shares, “Education is not simply the transmission of knowledge, facts, or skills, but is about human formation. What academic institutions need to be doing today is helping students to discover what will give meaning and purpose to their life, while preparing students for the careers or industries that have not yet come into being and asking the questions that are not yet completely formulated. This is accomplished through an education that forms the mind, heart, and soul.”
Dr. Cesareo holds a B.A. summa cum laude from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception; an M.A. and Ph.D. in late medieval/early modern European history from Fordham University; and served as a Fullbright scholar in Rome. He has taught at numerous institutions, including Iona College, St. John’s University, Albertus Magnus College, and John Carroll University. He served in administrative leadership at John Carroll University and as Dean of the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University. In 2007, he became the president of then Assumption College, where he served for 15 years. Under Dr. Cesareo’s leadership, the school became Assumption University and is now home to five distinct, yet complementary schools, which carry forward the university’s organization’s mission. He leaves a rich legacy at Assumption University, where he invested in faculty development; established a study abroad program; completed three strategic plans for the college; and ensured the institution’s financial health by increasing the endowment of the university from $66 million to over $100 million, balancing the budget with a surplus, and raising over $50 million in the largest capital campaign in Assumption’s history.
In his work as a consultant with Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search, Dr. Cesareo brings an understanding of the needs of divergent institutions; a nuanced insight into the importance of board development; a demonstrated track record of effective strategic planning; and a commitment to transformative leadership.