Marvin Krislov Takes Over as President of Pace University


Marvin Krislov will begin his term at Pace after ten years at Oberlin College. Photo courtesy of Pace University

Sean Browne, Editor in Chief

Marvin Krislov began his term as President of Pace University on August 1, 2017 following the retirement of Stephen J. Friedman who served as president since July 2007.

Pace will not be Krislovs first time working at a college. He served as President of Oberlin College for ten years and before that he was the Vice President and General Counsel and the University of Michigan.

“I had a good run at Oberlin College, and I frankly wanted new challenges,” Krislov said. “The size of Pace, the fact that it’s a more urban school, I feel like it would present more opportunities to grow as a  person and as a professional.”

While at Michigan the former Rhodes scholar with a degree from Yale Law School guided the university’s legal team during the landmark U.S Supreme Court case Gratz v. Bollinger which dealt with the schools  point system when grading if a student shall receive affirmative action.

Also, Krislov distributed his legal skills in helping the University of Michigan appeal sanctions that were placed on their basketball team by the NCAA , Krislov described the experience on working on that case as “fascinating”.

“It was such a highly publicized and controversial set of events with very high stakes,” Krislov said. “We were originally given a two year ban from the playoffs for two years, but we appealed it and the NCAA appeals committee reinstated us for the second season and Michigan actually went to the NIT championship and won. Had it not been for that successful appeal we would not have won.”

In 2007, Krislov began a duration of ten years as President of Oberlin College, while there the school went through a series of social activism done by the student body.

Last November, Oberlin students protested around Gibson’s Bakery in Ohio over alleged racial profiling that was done by the bakery’s staff.

Even Krislov found himself in some hot water with the student body  after he denied a list made by a group of students that demanded the firing of some Oberlin employees, the changing of the schools grading system so that it would be overseen by students, the creation of “safe spaces” for black students, and  the creation of a program to enroll recently released prisoners from a nearby prison as undergraduates.

“Some of the solutions it proposes are deeply troubling,” Krislov wrote in a response posted on Oberlin’s website in January of 2016. “I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement. Many of its demands contravene principles of shared governance. And it contains personal attacks on a number of faculty and staff members who are dedicated and valued members of this community.”

However, despite his encounters with the students at Oberlin he was very proud  of his students for their enthusiasm in social causes.

“I think that education is the path to changing an individual’s life and a family’s life,” Krislov said. “One of the most important civil rights cases is Brown v. Board of Education and that provided equal opportunity for education and there is still a lot of contested ground about what equal education looks like. So I think that civil rights issues are important not only outside of the university, but within the university and the effects that the university has on the community around it.”

The newly appointed president wasted little time sharing his views on civil rights with everyone at Pace. On September 5th, Krislov released a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

“Pace University stands in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as a path to education for immigrants. The program has served Pace, our community, and our country well. Pace University supports immigrant students and their right to achieve their dreams and be a part of the next generation of leaders. The Pace University community upholds these values and we hope that Congress and the President can find a way forward that is inclusive and beneficial for all.”

In the immediate future, Krislov hopes that he can connect the two campuses as well as improve the reputation of Pace.