Fleischman Named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Robert (Bobby) Fleischman
Robert (Bobby) Fleischman

Ferris State University President David L. Eisler announced today that Robert (Bobby) Fleischman, vice president for Strategic Business, Education, and Regional Partnerships at Minnesota State University, Mankato, will become Ferris’ next provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Fleischman replaces Paul Blake who will be retiring from Ferris in June 2020.

Fleischman will begin his new position on July 19.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Fleischman to our university. His passion for higher education and his dynamic experience in building strong relationships will be especially beneficial for our professional, technical, clinical and digital programs with business, industries and corporations throughout the region. His deep understanding of the development of cutting-edge programs will be a very strong addition to our university and our leadership team,” said Eisler.

Fleischman brings 27 years of experience in higher education to Ferris. He has served the last five years at Minnesota State Mankato, in his current role as well as associate provost of Academic Affairs. Previously, he was a faculty member at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and served in a series of administrative positions, including both dean of the College of Business and Management, and as department chair. Prior to joining East Stroudsburg University, Fleischman was a lecturer in Sport Law, Business Writing and Communications at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to move to Big Rapids and join Ferris State University’s impressive administrative and faculty leadership team. My wife and I are extremely impressed by the beauty of the university and the surrounding area, and look forward to serving active roles in the community,” said Fleischman.

In his new role as Ferris’ provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Fleischman will serve as the chief academic officer of the university and as a member of the president’s executive team.

While at Minnesota State Mankato, Fleischman was responsible for developing external partnerships, including agreements that bring opportunities for student experiential learning, internships, international exchanges, faculty-led study away and study abroad, as well as business development. He established more than 1,300 purposeful and meaningful partnerships, including the Mayo Clinic, Mankato Clinic, Sanford Health, 3M, Medtronics, Target, United Health, Mankato Area Public Schools, and others. Examples of other notable achievements include developing a unique partnership with the City of Shakopee to develop an Innovation Center and creating a Memorandum of Understanding with Costa Rica for education, business, economic and cultural exchange, which is the third such partnership in the country, following Cornell and Syracuse universities.

In his community, he has been a member of numerous organizations, including GreenSeam, the greater Mankato United Way, the Twin Rivers Council of the Arts and the Mankato Sports Commission, and he served as an administrative representative on the Mankato Diversity Commission.

Fleischman received a Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University School of Law, a Doctorate of Education in Educational Theory and Practice from Binghamton University, a Master’s of Science in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan.