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Arizona State Dean Dr. Jonathan G.S. Koppell Named Next President of Montclair State University

Arizona State University Dean Dr. Jonathan Koppell will be Montclair State's next President on August 2
Arizona State University Dean Dr. Jonathan Koppell will be Montclair State's next President on August 2

Jonathan G.S. Koppell has been selected as Montclair State University’s ninth president, the Board of Trustees announced today. 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, will start on August 2.

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.”

After today's announcement, Koppell spoke with WBGO's Doug Doyle. The next MSU President was asked why he wanted to come to the East Coast after his amazing decades-long tenure as dean of ASU's Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions?

"The desire was to come to a university like Montclair State that embraces the public service mission that really animates my interest in education. This is a university that gets it. It's focused on student success and creating pathways for people from all backgrounds to get a higher education, creating fantastic learning opportunities and about using the University as a tool to address the challenges that we face as a state, as a nation and in our communities. That's what I'm so jazzed about being part of something like that."

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, 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.

Known as one of the most entrepreneurial leaders at Arizona State, an institution that is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most innovative universities, Koppell has guided Watts College to add some 20 new degree programs, greatly expand its online offerings and global programs, launch a unique joint college in Hainan, China, and create the nation’s first Public Service Academy. National rankings skyrocketed under his leadership with numerous programs now rated in the top ten nationally.

“Jonathan has been a transformational leader at ASU, launching innovative programs to serve the public interest, increasing student access and success, advancing diversity among the faculty and college leadership, and greatly enhancing research expenditures and philanthropic support,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “He is a firm believer that public universities play a fundamental role in advancing nearly every aspect of society. I have every confidence that Jonathan will fully apply his lifelong dedication to higher education to further elevating Montclair State University.”

Koppell has been a leader in the Phoenix metropolitan area and across Arizona, an important voice who has created deep, collaborative partnerships to address critical challenges from homelessness to youth disengagement to broadband access. He launched a public-private partnership embedding support services within Section 8 housing in downtown Phoenix and created a series of public-serving centers and institutes, including the Design Studio for Community Solutions, the Congressman Ed Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, the Senator Jon Kyl Center for Water Policy, the Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Center for Human Capital and Youth Development, and the Center for Correctional Solutions.

He will succeed Susan A. Cole, who is retiring after 23 years of service. Under her leadership, the University nearly doubled its enrollment and rose from a well-respected regional master’s institution with an almost entirely commuter student population to become a doctoral research university with a sizable residential student population and a growing national reputation.

Cole recruited a highly diverse student body, hired hundreds of talented faculty members, opened four new schools and colleges, built some 4 million square feet of new academic space and modernized many teaching and research facilities, added housing for thousands of students, installed a highly efficient energy infrastructure that includes one of the few campus microgrids in the nation and added a train station providing direct access to midtown Manhattan.

Doug Doyle has been News Director at WBGO since 1998 and has taken his department to new heights in coverage and recognition. Doug and his staff have received more than 250 awards from organizations like PRNDI (now PMJA), AP, New York Association of Black Journalists, Garden State Association of Black Journalists and the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.