Jonathan G.S. Koppell has been selected as Montclair State University’s ninth president, the Board of Trustees announced Tuesday. A nationally regarded scholar of policy, organization and management who transformed the public affairs college at Arizona State University into one of the largest, best and most innovative in the nation, Koppell will start on August 2. Koppell takes over for Susan Cole, who announced her plans to retire in September 2020.
Board of Trustees Chairman Francis M. Cuss said the Board is excited about the appointment and will act formally on it at the June 22 Board meeting.
“Jonathan Koppell was the clear choice for all the Trustees, who were impressed with his energy, his passion, and his dedication to the ideals of public higher education,” Cuss said. “He is an experienced and visionary leader with a very strong record of increasing service to students and communities, of supporting and advancing the work of the faculty, and engaging donors and alumni in the mission of his institution. He has created mutually beneficial partnerships with many external organizations and communities, and he is known on his campus as a fierce advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity. All of these qualities, coupled with his experience as a teacher, a scholar and an administrator, make him the ideal choice for Montclair State at this moment in our history.”
“I could not be more excited about joining Montclair State University,” Koppell said. “At a pivotal moment in higher education, this university – with its deep commitment to serving the public interest and advancing student success – has an opportunity to define the future. I am so impressed by what the faculty and staff have accomplished with President Cole, and I am confident we can build on this foundation in bold, imaginative ways that contribute to the prosperity, health and well being of New Jersey and the nation.”
As Montclair State’s president, Koppell will lead one of New Jersey’s largest and most successfully diverse public research universities, one that serves more than 21,000 students enrolled in some 300 degree programs offered by 10 colleges and schools on a 252-acre campus.
During his decade-long tenure as dean of ASU’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and vice provost for public service and social impact, the College more than doubled its enrollment, becoming the nation’s largest comprehensive public affairs college, serving more than 9,000 students in bachelor’s, masters and doctoral programs. He also led the College to significantly improve its student retention and graduation rates through new and innovative counseling and student-support initiatives. Koppell quadrupled fundraising at the college, secured one of the largest gifts in the university’s 136-year history and tripled research funding to exceed $30 million annually. The College is ASU’s most diverse. The majority of its students are from underrepresented minority communities, and nearly two-thirds are from lower-income families.