ROI Influencers: Higher Education 2021 — Honor Roll

Nancy Cantor
Rutgers University-Newark
In her seventh year at the school, she is now a veteran presence among government and business leaders, helping the school serve as an anchor institution in the community that preaches racial equity and equitable growth to forge diverse, cross-sector collaborations.

Chris Capuano
Fairleigh Dickinson University
The school reached its goal of becoming a Top 50 regional university in the Northeast. Capuano’s real aim is ensuring the school is financially in reach of first-generation college students — and giving them the guidance they need to become the next-generation workforce.

Marcheta Evans
Bloomfield College
Evans, the only Black female college president in New Jersey, leads one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation and New Jersey’s only four-year Predominantly Black Institution and Hispanic Serving Institution.

Kate Foster
The College of New Jersey
There are many ways to judge a school’s impact on its community. Here’s one: TCNJ had a record-breaking $20 million in contributions for the campaign year ending June 30, including a $5 million gift from a donor who wished to remain anonymous.

Merodie Hancock
Thomas Edison State University
The longtime leader in online education, TESU’s model of nontraditional learning suddenly is mainstream. The school, which serves a large number of adults, is seeing a resurgence.

Rich Helldobler
William Paterson University
School already has shown its forward-thinking vision twice this month, as it announced the creation of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation and that nine popular undergraduate degrees will now be available in an all-virtual format.

Patrick Leahy
Monmouth University
Leahy, who continues to point the school in right direction, made two recent hires of great impact: Pamela Scott-Johnson serves as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs with an eye toward research dollars; Raj Devasagayam serves as the new dean of the Leon Hess Business School.

Joseph Marbach

Joseph Marbach
Georgian Court University
The first lay president has the 113-year institution headed in the right direction, with new programs for first-generation students and adults returning to school. The ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s both upgraded their outlook for the university this summer.

Lamont Repollet. (File photo)

Lamont Repollet
Kean University
Former state commissioner of education is well-connected. He leads a school that has two satellite locations in the state (Jefferson and Toms River/Manahawkin) and one in China (Wenzhou).

Michael Smith
Berkeley College
Since becoming president in 2015, Smith has focused on expanding the school’s reach among diverse communities and prominent Latinx- and Black-led organizations. School has been recognized for numerous volunteer and community service efforts.

Newcomers to watch

Cindy Jebb; Jonathan Koppell; Antonio Tillis
President; President; Chancellor
Ramapo College of New Jersey; Montclair State University; Rutgers University-Camden
Three new leaders all bring impressive credentials from out of state. Jebb brings nearly four decades of military experience (West Point). Koppell was a highly regarded dean at the highly regarded Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University. Tillis served in key roles at the University of Houston-Downtown, College of Charleston, Dartmouth College and Purdue University.

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