Frank Simio, vice president for finance at Fordham, has served as interim CFO since September 2014, when John Landon, former CFO, senior vice president and treasurer, stepped down following a heated rift between himself and the Fordham faculty.
Landon had been representing the university in negotiations with the Faculty Senate over a new health care plan. Landan attended a faculty-wide meeting on September 10, was asked to leave the meeting and declined. He was censured by the Faculty Senate for his refusal.
In September, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution in a 14-4-3 vote that stated the Senate had “no confidence in Mr. Landon,” and requested “that the President of the University directly represent the administration in negotiations concerning faculty salaries and benefits.” Landon had served in the position since 2000.
Hirst has served at St. John’s as executive vice president, chief operating officer and treasurer since 2011, where she manages the university’s budgeting and operations. In his email, McShane highlighted some of her specific accomplishments, including leading “a team of internal and external real estate, legal, financial and higher education experts that marketed and sold the university’s Murray Street property for a record-setting $223 million, increasing St. John’s endowment by 50 percent.”
In the 33 years prior to taking up post at St. Johns, Hirst was the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the deputy commissioner of the Department of Sanitation.
“Fordham’s rich Jesuit tradition, outstanding faculty, and vibrant campuses combine to provide the first-rate education students and their families work so hard to obtain,” Hirst said in the email. “I am honored to accept this wonderful opportunity and look forward to working with Father McShane, members of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Freedman and other academic and administrative colleagues in service to the Fordham community.”
Hirst was selected by a committee led by Robert Daleo, chair of the University Board of Trustees, and Fordham trustees Carolyn Dolan, Christopher Fitzmaurice, and Donald Almeida, and trustee emeritus John Costantino. The executive search firm of Witt/Keiffer assisted the committee in making a decision.