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About Mark Nemec

On July 1, 2017 Mark R. Nemec, PhD, became the 9th Ignatian and first lay President of Fairfield University. He was formally inaugurated on October 20, 2017.

Working with his senior leadership team and constituents across campus, President Nemec has positioned Fairfield as a model of the modern, Jesuit Catholic University committed to lifelong learning, holistic formation, and expansive partnership.

Under President Nemec’s leadership Fairfield has continued its rise as a values-based, student-centric, outcomes-focused institution dedicated to forming men and women for and with others, in pursuit of social justice and productive citizenship.

In this most recent year, Fairfield garnered a record number of undergraduate applications and enrollments, with particular growth in the number of applicants outside the Northeast region – a reflection of the University’s growing stature and enhanced national reputation. An expanded and updated Barone Campus Center was opened to students, with “The Tully” dining commons offering greater open space and dining options; a new residence hall was completed for the fall of 2018; and construction continues on a new $40 million facility for the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, scheduled to open in fall of 2019.

President Nemec also led the largest capital campaign in University history, exceeding an original goal of $160 million to raise a total of $218 million to benefit the University.

A graduate of Loyola High School, Jesuit College Preparatory in Los Angeles, President Nemec earned a BA in English from Yale, where he was an All-Ivy League rugby player. He received an MA in education and a PhD in political science from the University of Michigan. Early in his career, he taught American politics as a visiting assistant professor at Davidson College, and as an instructor at the University of Michigan.

Most recently, Dr. Nemec served as the dean of the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies at the University of Chicago. As dean, he led the school’s significant growth and evolution by focusing on innovative ways to extend the university’s reach to broader student populations. Prior to his tenure at the University of Chicago, Dr. Nemec served as president and chief executive officer of Eduventures, a Boston-based information services firm providing research and advice to the higher education community. He previously had been a member of the executive team of Forrester Research, a provider of similar services to the technology industry.

Dr. Nemec is the author of Ivory Towers and Nationalist Minds: Universities, Leadership, and the Development of the American State (University of Michigan Press, 2006), and a contributor to The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson (University of Virginia Press, 2012).

Beyond his research on the role of higher education in American political development, Dr. Nemec has been a frequent speaker on the current and future state of higher education and has presented to a diverse array of audiences including the White House’s Forum on College Affordability, the British Council’s Going Global, the New England Board of Higher Education’s Summit on Cost in Higher Education, and the annual meetings of numerous higher education associations.

Dr. Nemec was welcomed into the Fairfield community with his wife, Suzanne, and their four children: Alex, Teddy, Philip and Kit. In addition to his role as President of Fairfield University, Dr. Nemec also joined the politics department as a professor within the College of Arts and Sciences.


Present President, Fairfield University

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Contact Information

o: Bellarmine Hall Rm 123
p: 203-254-4000 ext. 2217