University President on List of New Jersey’s Most Powerful

February 14, 2011--Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole and three members of the University’s Board of Trustees were named to NJBIZ’s 2011 list of the 100 most powerful people in New Jersey business.

Ranked #38, Cole was not only the lone college president to appear on the list, but also the only academic included among the top 100.  Described by the weekly business newspaper as a “very aggressive player” for Montclair State, she was cited for being “active in many policy circles” and for “transforming the university from a commuter school to a residential institution.”  

The newspaper credited Cole for “working with the Legislature on public-private partnerships.” In 2009 the University broke ground on The Heights, a student residential complex scheduled to open this year providing living space for 1,978 students.  The project is the first to be carried out under the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009, which allows the state’s public colleges and universities to enter into public-private partnerships for campus building projects.
Cole also served on Gov. Chris Christie’s executive transition team.  She was the only representative from the field of education and chaired its education subcommittee.  Previously she has served on committees for governors McGreevey, DiFrancesco, and Whitman.

The three members of the Board of Trustees who made the list were Mitchell E. Hersh (#30), president and chief executive officer of the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, the state’s largest office landlord; Ralph A. LaRossa (#45), president and chief operating officer of Public Service Electric & Gas Company; and William T. Mullen (#74), president of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council.

Cole previously served as president of Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota (1993-1998) and as vice president for University Administration and Personnel at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (1980-1991).  She was also Associate University Dean for Academic Affairs at Antioch University and Visiting Senior Fellow in Academic Administration at the City University of New York.

She earned three degrees in English and American literature, a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MA and a PhD from Brandeis University.

Montclair State University
Montclair State offers the advantages of a large university -- a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum with a global focus, a broad variety of superior graduate programs through the doctoral level, and a diverse faculty and student body -- combined with a small college's attention to students.