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University Leadership

Franklin’s Executive Leadership Team

Take a closer look at Franklin University’s senior leadership, a team of innovators and experts who guide our mission and expand our accessibility.

Our Leaders

David Decker, Ph.D.
President

David R. Decker joined Franklin University as its President in 2007. Under his leadership, Franklin focuses on the demonstrable achievement of student outcomes, through which graduates are empowered to rise in their professions and to strengthen their contributions to their families, communities and employers. Franklin University has become a doctoral-granting university under Dr. Decker’s tenure, and has also established a world-class Instructional Innovation Center focusing on enhancing student learning and student success. Dr. Decker graduated from Grinnell College, holds the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, and earned the M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Marv Briskey, DBA
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Marv Briskey joined Franklin University as Chief Financial Officer in 2006. Dr. Briskey was promoted to Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in 2011, and Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer in 2014. Under his leadership, the Chief Financial Office focuses on providing both strategic operational and programmatic support to the University. The Chief Financial Office establishes and communicates both fiscal and safety and security policies and procedures; oversees $111 million in net assets, and a $90 million investment pool; and reviews and establishes internal control procedures to safeguard financial and human capital assets. Dr. Briskey holds a Bachelor of Art in Accounting from Hillsdale College, a Master of Business Administration from Capital University, and a Doctor of Business Administration from Baker College.

Christi Cabungcal
Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President, Administration

In her role as Franklin University’s chief of staff and senior vice president for administration, Christi Cabungcal is a member of the president’s cabinet and key administrative leader. 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. In her role, Christi partners with University leadership to promote a culture of collaboration, empowerment and achievement.
Christi earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as an MBA from Otterbein College. She supports her community as a member of the board of directors for Goodwill Columbus.

Linda Steele
Vice President, Marketing

For more than 30 years, Linda Steele has served in a leadership capacity at Franklin University. In her current role as Vice President of Marketing she has focused on expanding the University’s reach by establishing and elevating its brand position and reputation; developing, integrating, and implementing a broad range of marketing and public relations strategies; and advancing the University’s ability to serve the needs of students in central Ohio, across the United States and around the world. Steele earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and holds a M.A from The Ohio State University.

Rick Sunderman
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Richard G. Sunderman serves as Sr. Vice President, Information Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Franklin University. Sunderman joined Franklin University as CIO In July 2011, bringing over 25 years of experience in technology management. In this role, he is responsible for the university’s Information Technology, Institutional Effectiveness (IE), Financial Aid, and Registrar operations. Prior to joining the University in 2011, Sunderman provided technology consulting services with Dublin Technologies, and also served as Vice President, Information Systems at Qwest Communications. A graduate of the Ohio State University, Sunderman serves on the Operations Committee of Junior Achievement of Central Ohio.

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

As senior vice president for global programs and strategic initiatives, Dr. Mendes has guided Franklin University’s expansion of educational opportunities around the world. He 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’ educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Warner College, MBA from Webster University and a master’s in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix. In addition, he has a Ph.D. in organizational management and international business from Capella University.

Christopher Washington, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Urbana Campus

Christopher L. Washington serves as Executive Vice President of the Urbana branch campus of Franklin University. He joined Franklin University in 1999 as a faculty member in the MBA program. He has served as the chief academic officer of the University from 2005-2018. Dr. Washington supervised the introduction of new academic programs at the Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degree levels, supported the implementation of Franklin degree programs abroad, and coordinated a three-college structure within the University. Dr. Washington holds a B.A. and M.S. from Western Illinois University, and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University.

Bill Chan
Vice President, Strategic Alliances

Bill Chan joined Franklin University in 2002. In his years at Franklin, Bill has focused on expanding and strengthening the University’s partnerships with community colleges, businesses and high schools across the country. He has addressed the need to increase student transfer and reduce the cost of higher education through 3+1 articulation agreements with community colleges. Under Bill’s leadership, FranklinWORKS has formed partnerships with a number of Fortune 100 companies and organizations to address workforce development and training as well as oversee the University’s College Credit Plus program with Ohio high schools. Bill earned his M.B.A. from Franklin University and holds a B.A from Kent State University and B.S. from Hiram College.

Danielle Buckius
Executive Director, Accreditation & Authorization

Danielle Buckius joined Franklin University in 2008 as an Academic Reference Librarian and transitioned to accreditation and regulatory compliance in 2010. As Executive Director of Accreditation & Authorization, Ms. Buckius leads a team responsible for the achievement and maintenance of institutional and programmatic accreditation, as well as state authorization of distance education activities. Ms. Buckius is the Higher Learning Commission ALO for Franklin University. A lifelong Ohioan, Ms. Buckius earned a BA in English from Wright State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Kent State University.