Academics, Health Professions

Chris Gibson ’86, Ph.D., officially becomes the 12th president of Siena  College today, and announces that Margaret E. Madden, Ph.D., who has been serving as interim president since July 2019, has been named to the newly created position of provost/senior vice president.

In a message sent to faculty, administrators and staff this morning, Dr. Gibson said he is “very conscious” of the significant challenges Siena faces as it moves to safely reopen for the fall semester, and to “rise to the moment” and be an agent of change for racial justice.  

“I am humbled and incredibly excited to help lead our beloved institution to new heights. During my transition, I have witnessed our community in action; we are already rising to answer these critical calls,” he said. “As we go forward to overcome our current existential threats and help lead our country to higher planes of justice, including racial justice, we take inspiration from the Franciscan traditions on which Siena was founded.”  

Under the new provost model that was approved by Siena’s Board of Trustees on June 11, deans of the College’s three schools – Business, Liberal Arts and Science – as well as the vice presidents for student life and enrollment management, and other academic and student services administrators, will report to Dr. Madden.

She has been vice president for academic affairs and professor of psychology at Siena since 2015, before being asked to serve as interim president last year upon the death of Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., Siena’s 11th president.

“Dr. Madden’s outstanding leadership and vision have been evident at Siena over the past five years as she has worked with faculty and administrators to develop several new majors and an MBA program,” said Gibson. “Her reorganization of Academic Affairs has allowed it to more fully integrate with academic support and student engagement programs to enhance student achievement at Siena. I have every confidence that as Siena’s first provost she will continue to help lead the College to continued academic success.” 

Dr. Gibson and Dr. Madden have been co-leading the College’s coronavirus recovery and re-opening efforts since the spring.

The College recently announced that it will start and end the fall semester early to address health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus. Classes will start August 24 – more than two weeks earlier than usual. The semester will end right before Thanksgiving to help mitigate possible impact of the pandemic.