Dr. Nair Reappointed to Five-year Term as President

By Caitlin Burns | April 15, 2021


The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Arcadia University has reappointed President Ajay Nair to a second term of five years, beginning July 1, 2021. 

“From his first day at Arcadia, President Nair has shown tremendous leadership and a bold vision that will continue our University’s advance into our next chapter of distinction,” said Alison Aaron Madsen, Esq. ’85, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The past three years have been a remarkable journey; with Ajay at the helm, we have experienced profound results building a stronger foundation and managing our most challenging situations. The Board is excited to see Ajay’s long-term commitment to Arcadia reflected in this re-appointment, and we anticipate many landmark moments for our community in the years ahead.” 

Since his arrival at Arcadia in April 2018, President Nair prioritized solidifying the Board of Trustees and President’s Cabinet. President Nair has worked to identify and appoint an ambitious, talented, and diverse leadership team that reflects the University and the global communities we serve. 

President Nair also led Arcadia’s efforts and challenged the University community to infuse a mission that centers on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI)—re-engaging with alumni, instilling a JEDI-focused community of practice, enhancing the student experience, and expanding educational opportunities for first-generation and underserved and underrepresented students. He has urged the University community to dare to dream, especially in thinking boldly through the disruption brought on by COVID. His leadership has kept the University community’s health and safety and Arcadia students at the center of its decision-making process. 

“I am extremely proud and privileged to begin my tenure as Board Chair at Arcadia as Ajay enters into his fourth year as president,” said John Rollins, whose tenure as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Arcadia begins July 1 as well. “The leadership stability that President Nair has helped to instill, both at the Cabinet and Board levels, has brought a renewed sense of confidence and optimism to the University community.”

With the approval in February of ARCADIA2025, the University’s adaptive strategy, President Nair has helped create a roadmap for Arcadia’s future. Arcadia is uniquely positioned to build on our legacy through the adaptive strategy’s transformative work under his continued leadership for the next five years. 

“Over the past couple of years, President Nair has shown a commitment to working with Faculty Senate and shared governance on campus,” said Dr. Marc Brasof, associate professor of Education and president of Faculty Senate. “He also has given tremendous support for our academic mission and encouraged faculty to be innovative and adaptive in their scholarship.” 

At the 2018 NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Conference, President Nair received the Dr. Doris Michiko Ching Shattering the Glass Ceiling Award for his impact on the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American community through his leadership, service, and scholarship. The following year, NASPA named its Outstanding Allyship Award after President Nair; the award honors individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to allyship for the Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American community in the student affairs profession and higher education. 

Also in 2019, an op-ed by President Nair, “Higher Education Must Close Its Leadership Diversity Gap,” was published in The Philadelphia Inquirer; this was followed by an extensive interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education on the topic. In February 2021, President Nair was quoted and Arcadia was cited as a case study in a Chronicle of Higher Education special report, “Diversifying Your Campus: Key Insights and Models for Change.” 

In 2020, President Nair was named a Minority Business Leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal, and he currently serves on several boards and executive committees, including for the Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities (APCU), the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), and the Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC).