MSU President to retire in 2021

Written by on September 10, 2020

susan cole president montclair state university

Montclair State President Announces Retirement

Published September 9, 2020

Writer: Tyler Mayer

Editors: Louis Biondolillo and Peter Zezas

Montclair State University’s President, Dr.  Susan A Cole announced she is retiring from her position as president of the university at the end of this academic year after a 23-year tenure. 

The announcement was made during her 2020 Fall Speech which was carried live on the university’s YouTube page. During the just over forty minute address, Dr. Cole talked about the various challenges and adversity the university faculty, staff and students faced throughout the years including two World War Wars, the Spanish flu, the holocaust, the Vietnam war, September 11th, to name a few, and how the campus community persevered through. She compared the COVID-19 pandemic to past historical events that MSU has endured. She spoke about the many changes that staff had made to campus during the summer, implementing major social distancing protocols, and mandatory masking policies.

In her 23 years, the student population grew from 12,000 to 21,000 people. She oversaw the construction of numerous buildings on campus including University Hall, Kasser Theater, the Feliciano School of Business, the School of Communication and Media, and finally the yet-to-be-opened College Hall.  

“Dr. Cole’s leadership and vision is what drove Montclair State’s sustainable development and growth, from the beautiful buildings to the exciting new schools and research programs.” said Anabella Poland, General Manager at the campus radio station, WMSC FM. “She once told us at WMSC that she wanted her legacy to be, ‘she came and she built it’ and build it she did! I am personally thankful for her inspiring stewardship and forever grateful for her support of the campus radio station and of our young broadcasters.”

“Montclair State today is the university that Susan Cole built.”

 – Daniel Gurskis (Dean of the College of the Arts)

Kyle Cashin, a senior majoring in history, resonated with these sentiments stating “Without Dr. Cole, our campus wouldn’t be as good as it is. She’s been working on improving the layout of our campus, as well as strengthening  our community.”

Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of the School of Communication and Media said “President Cole leaves a remarkable legacy at Montclair State, including of course the realization of the School of Communication and Media. Over the course of her time on campus, she led the University through a dynamic transformation into the large, inclusive, nationally recognized research institution that it is today. For that, she will be a singular and permanent fixture in the ascendant history of MSU.

“Twenty-two years is a long time for someone to be a university president. Although we have disagreed on a lot of things over the years, now is the time not to look back but rather to look forward.”

 – Rich Wolfson (President of AFT Local 1904)

It is evident that her dedication to the university and her commitment to the students she serve has led to the revival of the campus’ community this Fall.President Cole will complete this academic year and is set to retire in July of 2021. Her successor has yet to be announced. 


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