Jebb named Ramapo’s next president — brings dynamic academic and military background to role

West Point grad with Ph.D. from Duke will retire this summer after 39 years in Army

Cindy Jebb, a brigadier general in the U.S. Army who has a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University and is a graduate of West Point, was selected as the 5th president of Ramapo College of New Jersey, the school announced Friday.

Jebb, who retires from the Army this summer after 39 years of service, will begin serving as president July 6. She succeeds Peter Mercer, who began his tenure in July 2005 and announced his retirement from the state liberal arts college in September 2019.

Ramapo board of trustees Chair Susan Vallario, who led the school’s 18-month-long search process, was delighted to make the announcement.

“Dr. Jebb brings a wealth of diverse experiences, networks and perspectives to Ramapo College,” she said. “Her passion for the liberal arts, her commitment to inclusion and student success, her longstanding dedication to public service and her infectious and inspiring enthusiasm for Ramapo’s future make her the ideal choice to lead our college through its next chapter.

“On behalf of the entire board of trustees, we are tremendously excited for the opportunity to collaborate with her.”

Jebb has a dynamic resume in both higher education and the military.

Jebb served as a professor and head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point before assuming the duties as dean of the academic board there.

She has co-authored three books and taught courses in comparative politics, international security, international relations, cultural anthropology, terrorism and counterterrorism, and officership.

Webb has served in command and staff positions at home and abroad; conducted human security research in Africa; and completed study projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ramapo, which has more than 6,000 students, was ranked No. 34 among regional universities in the North in the last rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Webb said she is eager to take on the role as its next leader.

“I am honored, humbled and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the Ramapo community,” she said. “I am inspired by the college’s mission of education, grounded in the liberal arts, and I deeply admire the passion, commitment and talents of everyone I have met towards dignity and respect, character-building and a student-focused, powerful learning environment.

“All that is at stake in our nation and our world puts Ramapo’s mission and values in sharp focus, and I look forward to partnering with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater Ramapo community as, together, we chart the future.”

Peter Mercer. (File photo)

Under Mercer’s 16-year tenure, Ramapo experienced substantial physical and academic growth. His leadership through successful fundraising efforts and strategic planning has led to numerous transformative campuswide building and renovation programs. His steadfast focus on the college’s academic curriculum, faculty-student research and experiential learning has enhanced the college’s positive reputation and excellent recognition in the state as well as nationally.

“The story of Ramapo College has been one of which I am most proud to be a part,” he said. “That story will continue, and it will grow, when Dr. Jebb steps into the presidency.

“Guided by her own lived experiences as a professor, a chief academic officer and a military intelligence officer, I believe Dr. Jebb brings with her the stability, compassion and strategic leadership that our students deserve and that our college requires to thrive in these complex times.”

Jebb is married to Joel Jebb, and they have three adult children and one grandchild. The Jebbs will be relocating to the Mahwah area.