Montclair State University Foundation presents 2021 Annual Scholarship Fundraiser, Saturday May 22, 2021 alongside images of students

President Cole’s Leadership

Dr. Susan Cole

After 23 years of service to the University, President Cole has announced her retirement at the end of this academic year. This year’s Annual Scholarship Fundraiser is the last scholarship event over which she will preside as president of the University, and the evening will include a tribute to recognize her legacy and remarkable contributions.

Cole became Montclair State’s eighth, and first woman, president in 1998. During her tenure, the University’s enrollment grew from 12,000 to 21,000 students, and Montclair State took its place as one of New Jersey’s most successfully diverse institutions while expanding its degree offerings and earning national and state recognition as a research university. Throughout it all, the University has kept its focus on its students, providing them with an excellent yet affordable education to equip them to lead lives of purpose and meaning.

Known as an energetic and engaged leader with an unflagging work ethic, President Cole said she is leaving not because she accomplished everything she set out to do, but because “at some point, I just have to stop.” The work of developing the University, she said, is never done. “The University is organic and ever-changing and meant for the ages, not just the decades. And, as for me, if I stayed here for another 20 or so years, I would still never accomplish what I came to do, because my dreams and goals for the University keep growing with the University.”

“Susan Cole has led the University through a remarkable period of growth and transformation,” said Francis Cuss, MD, chair of the Board of Trustees. “…Since President Cole is so deeply identified with the University’s many achievements, it is hard to envisage Montclair State University without her, however, the Board is confident that thanks to her vision, her leadership, and her tireless efforts over the past two decades, the University is well prepared for continuing academic progress and a bright future.”

Read the full announcement regarding President Cole’s retirement and view her address to faculty and staff, which was live streamed on the University’s YouTube channel.