Arcadia's board was initially tight-lipped about Oxholm's firing just 20 months into his tenure. Months later, board chairman Christopher van de Velde called Oxholm "a very bright guy" with "a lot of energy and talent," but said "it just wasn't a good fit."
Houshmand said he spoke with van de Velde, who assured him that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Houshmand began discussing hiring Oxholm with his board about three months ago, he said.
He cited Rowan's expansion and partnership with Rutgers University, and said he needs someone to help him manage a vast portfolio of duties. The state school has more than 13,000 graduate and undergraduate students at its campus in Glassboro and two other locations.
Oxholm is filling what formerly was called the job of vice president for administration and finance, a position that has been vacant since Houshmand took over in 2012.
"I thought at the time that I didn't need that. Now I can see that I need it," he said.
Oxholm, a lawyer for more than 20 years in the public and private sectors before spending a decade at Drexel, said he initially was wary about reentering higher education, but loves the issues.
"This is a critical time for higher education; the issues of access, affordability, and quality are huge," he said. "The link between business and schools - this is really critical stuff for higher education to get right these days."
At Drexel, he was a key aide to president Constantine Papadakis and headed Drexel's Center for Graduate Studies in California.
As Houshmand's delegate, he will focus on communicating with community groups, businesses, and alumni, he said. He will oversee audit, compliance, equity and diversity, human resources, labor relations, enrollment management, and university relations.
Oxholm has a bachelor's degree from Amherst College, and a master's in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a doctorate from Harvard Law School.