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David Garafola

Open Forum

May 5
3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Engineering 189

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David Garafola has spent his professional career at three very distinctive institutions of higher education prior to his current engagement of advancing Saint Louis University as a global university. He has held two senior leadership roles as the chief financial and administrative officer. Most recently, he served as the vice president for finance and administration and board treasurer at Webster University. 

While at Webster, Mr. Garafola developed the framework for a comprehensive planning model and co-chaired the strategic planning committee, providing leadership in advancing the university’s mission and vision of being distinctive in international education.  Mr. Garafola was an integral part of a collaborative leadership team which strategically positioned the university’s growth and development by increasing enrollment, expanding facilities and technology infrastructure worldwide while meeting the expanding demands upon institutional resources. The strategic positioning resulted in advancing Webster University from its regional status into a national and international presence with expansion to over 22,000 students in 110 campus centers in 23 states and eight international campus locations. 

Mr. Garafola also served as vice president for financial affairs and treasurer for the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.  In his role, a financial turnaround of the college succeeded with the advancement of new programs, restructured debt for new facility construction as well as a redesign of the financial aid strategies to increase enrollment through a net revenue model to over 3,200 students while achieving a Standard & Poor’s credit rating increase to A- over a five-year span.
Mr. Garafola’s public university experience included 14 years with Towson University, the second largest university within University of Maryland System.  At Towson, he held various roles including the oversight of the university’s auxiliary enterprises and facility operations.  During his time at Towson, Mr. Garafola provided leadership in the principal role of planning, acquisition and development of a new campus hotel and conference center that more than doubled student housing inventory.

Mr. Garafola’s interest in the SJSU is to serve in a leadership role where he can contribute and build upon the institution’s great foundations. He is excited by the opportunity to serve under a new president to assist in advancing the institution into its continued future prominence. He understands many of the challenges facing SJSU and the need for fiscal and operational leadership with efficiency, transparency and effective communication. Mr. Garafola’s contributions would include offering his leadership abilities, as an integral team member, in support of the on-going development of strategic priorities with strong resource planning and efficient administrative processes to continue building upon SJSU’s many successes in garnering increased academic prominence and excellence.

Mr. Garafola is an active member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. He has promoted professional development opportunities within two regional associations and is a member of the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association and the St. Louis Association for Corporate Growth.

He is married, has two adult daughters, and enjoys golfing, sporting events and traveling in his spare time.