TCNJ names Kathryn Foster its 16th president

The College of New Jersey has named a new president to replace the retiring Barbara Gitenstein, it announced Tuesday.

Kathryn A. Foster, the president of the University of Maine at Farmington, will become the 16th president of the college on July 1. The TCNJ board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint her to the post that Gitenstein had held since 1999.

“In Dr. Foster, we have found the ideal person to lead our college,” Jorge Caballero, chairman of the TCNJ board, said in a prepared statement. “She is an accomplished academic leader with a passion for public education. She embodies our values and brings visionary leadership, a strong academic perspective and long-range strategic planning skills that will continue to position TCNJ for the future as a national exemplar.”

Foster has been the UMF president since 2012.

“I am honored and humbled by the trust the board has placed in me,” she said in a statement. “TCNJ is an exceptional place with the highest standards and deeply rooted values that mirror my own. I look forward to working with its talented, wise and dedicated community, from whom I will learn and with whom I will enjoy serving to advance this exceptional college.”

She is a native of Verona who earned her Ph.D. in public and international affairs at Princeton University.

“I look forward to returning to a state that has meant so much to me over the years and where I still have family,” she said. “New Jersey is in my DNA. It is a place where I feel comfortable and at home.”

Gitenstein had announced her intention to retire in July, touching off a national search for a new president.

“I am thrilled by Kathryn Foster’s selection as TCNJ’s 16th president,” Gitenstein said in a statement. “She has the right experience to prepare her for this role, having served as a chief executive officer in a state environment in which she has dealt with a range of higher education challenges at a senior level. …

“I am confident she will be very successful at TCNJ.”