Yeshiva University President to Step Down in 2018


richard joelYeshiva University said on Thursday that its president would leave his post at the end of his current term in 2018, the same day that it announced a deal involving ownership of its prestigious medical school.

The president, Richard Joel, 65, has led the university, based in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, for 12 years, and he said that when he accepted his third term, he told the chairman of the board that he would not take on a fourth.

Joel is the fourth president of Yeshiva University, which has 7,000 students at its undergraduate and graduate divisions in New York City.

Joel received his BA and JD from New York University, where he was a Root-Tilden law scholar, and has received honorary doctorates from Boston Hebrew College and Gratz College. He was an assistant district attorney in New York, and Deputy Chief of Appeals in the Bronx. His career continued as associate dean and professor of law at YU’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Joel is an at-large member of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) Board of Trustees.

From 1989 to 2003, Joel served as President and International director of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, an organization which supports Jewish life for college and university students throughout the world.

Joel became president of YU in 2003, succeeding Dr. Norman Lamm, who had been president since 1976. Since assuming the presidency, Joel has appointed new deans for Yeshiva College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Syms School of Business, and the Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchanan Yeshiva, added faculty positions throughout the university, and spurred wide-ranging improvements to campus life, including the construction of YU’s newest building, the Jacob and Dreizel Glueck Center for Jewish Study, which opened in August 2009.

As president of RIETS, he has spearheaded efforts to reinvigorate professional education for rabbis, continuing education and rabbinic placement. Additionally, President Joel has established various centers and programs including the university’s centers for Ethics, Israel Studies, Public Health and the Jewish Future. He has also established a Presidential Fellowship program that provides training and professional development to recent graduates to further their path toward communal leadership.

His salary in 2009 was reported to be $853,651, the highest of seventy six national Jewish organizations surveyed by The Forward, and also the twelfth highest for a university president.

Joel was born on September 9, 1950, and was raised in Yonkers, New York. He and his wife Esther (née Ribner), who holds a PhD from YU’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, have six children, all of whom have attended Yeshiva University schools. They currently reside in Riverdale, New York.

In the past two years, YU’s deficit was about $150 million a year, of which $100 million came from the medical school.

University officials said they hoped the deal announced on Thursday regarding its Albert Einstein College of Medicine would help put Yeshiva back on firmer financial footing. Under the agreement, Montefiore Health System and Yeshiva, which have long been affiliated, will create a new entity that will inherit the name Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore will take over operational and financial responsibility, while YU will continue to oversee Einstein’s academics and will grant degrees to graduates. The NY Times reports that Montefiore will own 51 percent of the new venture and YU will own 49 percent.

{Gavriel Newscenter}