Franklin University Leadership

Bio

Dr. David R. Decker became Franklin University’s fourth president in August 2007, bringing with him extensive experience from academia and the corporate world.

Under Dr. Decker’s leadership, Franklin continues to execute an ambitious strategic plan that includes increasing the depth and breadth of academic programs, expanding to new domestic locations, and establishing programs in emerging global markets.

Some of the significant strides made to date include:

Maximum 10-year reaccreditation granted by the Higher Learning Commission

Educational partnerships with academic institutions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America

Alliances with more than 230 community and technical colleges across the country

Extension of the University’s business partnerships through the FranklinWORKS initiative – helping organizations attract, develop and retain top talent

Specialized accreditation of specific Franklin business programs by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Introduction of the University’s first three doctoral programs in business, healthcare and instructional design leadership

New graduate and undergraduate programs added and existing courses strengthened

Faculty and staff diversified with the addition of new members from across the country and around the world

Physical expansion that includes more than 25 locations in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin

Acquisition of Urbana University, a primarily traditional university with a residential campus in west central Ohio, further broadening Franklin’s capabilities to serve learners

Main Campus enhanced through infrastructure improvements and physical site enhancements

Designation by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) as a sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program

Creation of the International Institute for Innovative Instruction

Academic Experience

Prior to coming to Franklin, Dr. Decker served as the vice president for global academic programs and dean of the School of Management at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) where he played a key role in the internationalization of NYIT and in the development of its online presence.

Before joining NYIT, Dr. Decker served in a variety of roles over a 10-year period at Youngstown State University. He held an endowed chair in entrepreneurship, served as founding director of the Williamson Center for International Business, served as interim dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration, and played an active role in the business and economic development of the community. Throughout his tenure at Youngstown State, Dr. Decker held faculty rank as a full professor of marketing. 

Dr. Decker’s academic credentials also include faculty posts at three other universities and international teaching experience in China, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Jordan.  He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and also speaks Russian.    

Corporate Experience

Dr. Decker served as president and chief executive officer of a $130 million manufacturing company, and held vice presidential positions in management information systems and marketing at a Fortune 200 company. He has conducted executive development programs in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Decker is the author of two books on economic and business issues in Latin America, along with numerous articles and presentations on higher education, marketing and literature.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, his master’s and doctorate from the University of Kansas, and his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

David Decker Ph.D.
President

Bio

As senior vice president and chief financial officer (SVP & CFO), Marv Briskey provides both strategic operational and programmatic support to the University and is the chief financial, and safety and security spokesperson for the organization. Briskey directly assists the University’s president and senior vice presidents on all local, regional, state, national and international strategic initiatives. Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees and president, he is responsible for providing strategic direction for the organization’s accounting, financial, and safety and security areas; establishing and communicating fiscal and safety and security policies and procedures; overseeing $104 million in net assets and a $75 million investment pool; and reviewing and establishing internal control procedures to safeguard fiscal and human capital assets.

Briskey is also responsible for ensuring compliance with local, state and federal, and international regulatory, taxing, and safety and security agencies. He advises the president, the president’s staff, finance, audit, controls & compliance committees, and the Board of Trustees regarding financial conditions, forecasts, fiscal, and safety and security trends. He also acts as lead interface with outside independent auditors, legal counsels and local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Briskey’s responsibilities also include directing strategic process improvement efforts, as well as strengthening relationships with banking representatives, insurance, legal, OFIC and Ohio Higher Education Facilities Commission staff.

Briskey has a passion for supporting and serving nonprofit organizations such as the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Central Association of College and University Business Officers, the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (planning committee member), Junior Achievement of Central Ohio (board member), I Know I Can (reading foundation reader participant), Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church (stewardship/capital campaign chairperson and disciple bible facilitator), Apple Valley Lake Committee (president) and Washington Township (zoning board member).

Briskey has devoted his life to the pursuit of personal growth and educational development. A member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, he received a bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College in 1982, an MBA from Capital University in 1989, and will receive his doctorate in business administration from Baker College in June 2017.

Marv Briskey
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Bio

Dr. Pamela Shay serves as a senior vice president for Franklin University leading the institution’s regional, international and discipline-specific accreditation activities and focuses attention on assuring institutional effectiveness. Dr. Shay works closely with academics and global initiatives to assure clear pathways through the regulatory world and to support the mission and vision of the University. She is an expert with academic architecture and designing degree programs, strategic partnerships, and articulation agreements across many university types, including the acquisition and merger of universities. She has over 30 years of experience in higher education working with public, private, nonprofit and for-profit institutions of higher education; the K-12 education school system; and workforce development/educational partnerships to provide educational opportunities to different populations.

Prior to serving as senior vice president at Franklin, Dr. Shay also served as Urbana University’s vice president for academic affairs, student services and athletics shortly after it was acquired by Franklin University. At Franklin, Dr. Shay also served as associate provost for academic quality, MBA program chair, and in other administrative leadership positions. Before coming to Franklin, she served as business faculty and in various leadership roles at public universities and small private liberal arts colleges. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to develop academic programs specific to the needs of adult learners and to establish a nonprofit incubator to provide a central location for several community service agencies and organizations. She served as director of branch university campuses, and also as director of a small- business development center. Building upon her years of entrepreneurial activities, Dr. Shay also serves as a consultant to small-business governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

Dr. Shay is involved in numerous accreditation organizations. She is peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of the NASASPS and MBAA. She is a reviewer and member of the NAMS and the IACBE where she is former board chair and a current peer reviewer. 

Dr. Shay is directly involved with many community service projects and organizations as a participant, leader and consultant in the areas of strategic planning, marketing, technology, fundraising and grants.

Receiving her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Union College, Dr. Shay earned her MBA in management marketing from Eastern Kentucky University and her DBA in management from Argosy University.

Pam Shay DBA
Senior Vice President, Accreditation and Institutional Effectiveness
Bio

In her role as Franklin University’s chief of staff, Christi Cabungcal is a member of the president’s cabinet. She works to support the achievement of organizational goals by aligning Franklin’s human capital and infrastructure strategies with the University’s mission and strategic plan.

With more than 18 years of progressive leadership experience and a strong orientation toward employee engagement and professional development, Cabungcal partners with University leadership to promote a culture of collaboration and empowerment by encouraging others to motivate, challenge and support team members and colleagues.

Cabungcal is an active member of the human resources profession and participates in key organizations that include the College and University Professionals in Human Resources, the Society for Human Resources Management, and the Human Resources Association of Central Ohio.

Cabungcal’s previous experience includes leadership roles with Sears, Roebuck and Co., Tailored Management and MacTools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as an MBA, both from Otterbein College. In Fall 2017, she will begin pursuing her Executive Doctorate in Business Administration at Temple University.

She supports her community as a member of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Kitchen Cabinet, HRACO’s mentor program and as an executive board member of the American Council on Education’s Ohio Women’s Network. Cabungcal also serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Columbus. 

Christi Cabungcal
Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President, Administration
Bio

For more than 30 years, Linda Steele has served in a leadership capacity at Franklin University. As vice president of enrollment and student affairs, Steele is a member of the president’s cabinet. Through her tenure at Franklin University, she has been instrumental in helping to expand the University’s reach by establishing and elevating the brand position and national reputation, advancing the University’s ability to serve the needs of students in central Ohio, across the United States and around the world.

Before coming to Franklin University, Steele held management positions at Ohio Wesleyan University and Ohio Dominican College.

Steele is presently a member of the ACE Women’s Network Executive Council.  

Steele earned a bachelor’s degree in speech from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in communication from The Ohio State University.

Linda Steele
Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs
Bio

Dr. Luis Galarza serves as the executive director of market development for Franklin University. He is the senior executive leading the institution’s business development efforts throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In his role, he seeks to secure relevant academic partnerships that allow the institution to position itself at the forefront of cross-cultural, international and online education.

Before coming to Franklin, Dr. Galarza served as vice president of university partnerships and managing director for Academic Partnerships, a higher education organization dedicated to helping outstanding institutions in the United States and around the world increase education access through online technology. Dr. Galarza worked as vice president of university partnerships for Pearson’s Scala Higher Education in Mexico and was a member of Blackboard’s strategic consulting team. 

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Galarza has served as a managing executive in online higher education. He was the founding director of a public-private higher education consortium dedicated to the expansion of higher education opportunities in Mexico. At DePaul University in Chicago, he led the creation of its Center for Distance Education, launching one of the most recognized adult learning programs in the United States. He was the founding director of Monterrey Tech’s doctorate in education innovation and worked in adult education development at CEMEX, where he supervised distance learning programs in support of the company’s rapid worldwide expansion.

In addition to his management experience, Dr. Galarza has taught both at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Athabasca University in Canada, DePaul University in Chicago, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Universidade Salgado de Oliveira in Brazil and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Galarza has supported the growth of educational opportunities for Hispanic immigrants in the United States. Under his leadership, the Mexican consular network launched secondary and high school education online for Mexican nationals living in the United States. He continues his efforts to expand education opportunities for the Hispanic community through his networking role at Franklin in connection with Mexican diplomatic authorities.

Dr. Galarza earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico. He earned a master’s degree in communication and a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis in international and adult education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Luis Galarza Ed.D.
Executive Director, Market Development
Bio

Richard G. Sunderman serves as vice president of information technology and chief information officer (CIO) at Franklin University.

In July 2011, Sunderman joined Franklin University as CIO, bringing over 25 years of experience in technology management. He was appointed vice president of information technology in July 2014. In this role, he is responsible for the technology infrastructure group, desktop services, University information systems, and the application development team members responsible for the University’s websites. Through his responsibility, he develops and guides implementation of a strategy for the University’s information and technology services areas that ensures effective electronic delivery of curriculum and information services while enhancing the end-users’ experiences.

Prior to joining the University in 2011, Sunderman provided consulting services to Franklin for several years in his role as the owner of Dublin Technologies, a firm he founded in 2003. Sunderman has also served as vice president, information systems at Qwest Communications and had several roles within the technology areas at Battelle.

Sunderman serves on the board of Junior Achievement and the Central Ohio Operations Committee.

Sunderman earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from The Ohio State University. A lifelong resident of central Ohio, he currently lives in Dublin, Ohio, with his family.

Rick Sunderman
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Bio

As senior vice president for global programs and strategic initiatives Dr. Mendes has guided Franklin University’s expansion of educational opportunities around the world. As a member of the president’s cabinet, Dr. Mendes reports directly to the president and Board of Trustees. He represents Franklin University in meetings with high-level leaders of educational institutions and businesses to enable individuals and workers to learn and attain certification and degrees through Franklin. Dr. Mendes has led negotiations resulting in partnership agreements for learning through online and hybrid formats enabling greater global awareness of faculty and students alike.   

Dr. Mendes’ previous experience included a variety of management roles in educational institutions in the United States and the United Arab Emirates covering enrollment and admissions, program development and accreditation. He served as a faculty member and was dean of students.

Dr. Mendes’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Warner College, an MBA from Webster University and a master’s in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix. In addition, Dr. Mendes has a Ph.D. in organizational management and international business from Capella University.

Godfrey Mendes Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Global Programs and Strategic Initiatives
Bio

A member of Franklin University’s executive leadership team since 2005, Dr. Christopher Washington currently serves as executive vice president and provost. He has a proven record of accomplishment for leveraging talent and resources in support of serving students, creating and acting on shared enrollment growth strategies and goals, and supporting faculty in leveraging technology and instructional strategies to enhance student learning and success.

Under Dr. Washington’s leadership, Franklin University has introduced over 22 bachelor degree programs, six master’s degrees, and three doctoral degree programs to meet the needs of students and employers. Dr. Washington has led many efforts to respond to the rapidly evolving technological, social, demographic and competitive landscape affecting higher education institutions today. In his role, he promotes student success through a variety of instructional approaches, contemporary academic resources and instructional methodologies and learning support services. He supported the advancement of Franklin’s internationalization by facilitating relationships with partnering universities in Europe, Central America, the Middle East and Asia. In 2014, Franklin University’s partnership with Wyzsza Szkola Bankowa in Poland received an Institute for International Education’s Andrew Heiskell award for Innovation in International Education and a European Medal for program quality.

Committed to higher education quality and excellence, Dr. Washington is the co-founder of the International Institute for Innovative Instruction. In addition, Dr. Washington serves as a consultant evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, is a member of several Ohio Department of Higher Education committees, and serves as a leadership facilitator for the Spectrum Leadership Program and the CAO Leadership program for the American Council on Education’s Leadership Programs. He is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio Provosts Council and currently serves on the boards of Global Ties U.S., The Metro Schools, and the Columbus Council on World Affairs.  

A recipient of numerous awards, including Business First’s Forty under 40, Ohio Magazine’s Outstanding Educator Award, and Franklin University’s Robert L. Bailey Outstanding Teaching Award, Dr. Washington has received the Pi Lambda Theta Leadership in Education Award and the 2016 Learning! Champion Award for outstanding contributions to the learning industry by Elearning! Magazine.

Dr. Washington holds a Ph.D. in human resource development from The Ohio State University, a master of science in college student personnel and a bachelor of arts in communications from Western Illinois University.

Christopher Washington Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost

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