Dr. Richanne Mankey named president of Defiance College

October 29, 2015

DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Defiance College Board of Trustees voted unanimously during their recent meeting to name Dr. Richanne C. Mankey as the College’s 19th president. She is the first woman president in the 165-year history of the College. Her career as a leader in independent higher education spans nearly three decades.Dr. Richanne Mankey

The Board selected Mankey, vice president for institutional advancement at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y., after an extensive national search. She will begin her presidency on campus Jan. 11.

“I am truly honored to be selected to serve Defiance College as its next president,” said Mankey, a native of Northwest Ohio. “This is a remarkable college with a rich history. I look forward to working with the exceptional members of the campus to embrace its mission and values that make a difference every day in the lives of students and enable graduates to achieve their professional dreams. I am also looking forward to engaging the Defiance community as we work together in creating future success. My husband, Mike, and I are excited to be returning home to Ohio.”

Mankey succeeds Mark Gordon, who stepped down to accept the presidency of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. Edward Buhl is currently serving as interim president and will return to his position as chair of the Board of Trustees when Mankey assumes the presidency.

“We are fortunate to have found a person with the leadership qualities of Dr. Richanne Mankey,” said George Smart, interim chair of Defiance’s Board of Trustees. “Dr. Mankey is uniquely qualified. Her proven ability as an extraordinary campus leader, as someone who has cultivated and grown philanthropic support, and as an advocate for independent, church-related higher education gives us reason to be very excited as she leads Defiance College going forward.”

Smart noted that Mankey is an expert on transformational leadership and has a proven record as a fundraiser. “She is student-centered and understands how to build on Defiance’s many strengths, including its highly-regarded McMaster School for Advancing Humanity and its ground-breaking program in autism studies as well as its many excellent programs to prepare students to be educated and engaged citizens,” Smart said.

Interim president Buhl noted, “We believe we have found an excellent fit in Dr. Mankey as the next president of Defiance College. She understands and believes in the mission of Defiance College as a private, liberal arts-based college. Her distinguished professional career demonstrates a strong commitment in that area.”

Prior to her current position at Daemen, she served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students at the College. She began her career at Ohio Northern University where she held progressively more responsible positions and was the youngest named vice president.

In advancement at Daemen, she has increased the donor base, focusing on major gift cultivation and increased visibility, and has conceptualized a comprehensive campaign to benefit the future of Daemen College. She has led the College to two of its highest giving years, initiated and implemented a charitable gift annuity program, increased annual fund giving, raised funds to complete campus beautification initiatives, and secured more than $2.2 million in grant funding since taking office in June 2013.

Campus-wide, she chaired the college’s facilities master plan committee and led the extensive application process for Daemen College to become a full member of NCAA Division II athletics.

Regionally, in 2011 she was a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Institute through the Western New York Consortium for Higher Education and now chairs its steering committee. She has also been selected to participate in national and regional discussions about critical issues and/or women in higher education.

As a faculty member, Mankey has taught since 2007 in the Executive Leadership and Change master’s program at Daemen. Since 2013, she has taught the biennial Leadership Development course in the Doctor of Nurse Practice program. She participated on a committee to develop an Ed.D. in Health Care Professions that will be submitted to New York State this year.

Since 2006, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Buffalo-Niagara YMCA. The $1.6 million raised when she chaired the Strong Kids (now Annual) Campaign from 2007-13 directly benefited local children and their families.

Mankey received the Women of Influence for Nonprofit Leadership award given to women who display high energy and skill in a leadership role; the Bernice Poss award given annually to a woman in higher education who exemplifies leadership, professionalism, concern for others, and steady advocacy of women; and the campus-wide Daemen College National Girls and Women in Sports Day Campus Award as a professional who supports student-athletes and athletics.

Originally from Tiffin, Ohio, she graduated cum laude in psychology from Ohio Northern University; received her master’s degree in social agency counseling from the University of Dayton; and earned her doctorate in adult education from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.

Mankey and her husband, Michael, will be relocating to Defiance. Their daughter, son-in-law and grandson live in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering nearly 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.