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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.

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.

Marv Briskey DBA
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

As senior vice president and chief financial officer (SVP & CFO), Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

Dr. 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).

Dr. 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 received his doctorate in business administration from Baker College in June 2017.

Christi Cabungcal
Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President, Administration

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.

Linda Steele
Vice President of Enrollment and Student Affairs

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.

Rick Sunderman
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

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.

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. 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.

Christopher Washington Ph.D
Executive Vice President and Provost

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.

Bill Chan
Vice President, Strategic Alliances

Bill Chan serves as the vice president of strategic alliances for Franklin University. In this role, he works to build and expand the University’s national reach through community college recruitment, regional locations and corporate relations. Bill’s work with the university has been instrumental in the establishment of Franklin’s workforce development initiative, FranklinWORKS. Since 2002, he has also been vital to the university’s Community College Alliance program, where his team has spearheaded the establishment of 18 colocations and over 230 community college partnerships across the United States. In addition to these achievements, Bill currently oversees the College Credit Plus program for Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University located 45 miles west of Franklin’s Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

Bill also represents the University in his work with Junior Achievement’s BizTown, an initiative aimed at providing school-age children of central Ohio a realistic opportunity to experience how basic economic concepts function in the real word.

Bill earned his MBA at Franklin University, his bachelor of science in business administration from Hiram College and a bachelor of science in communications from Kent State University.