Dear Montclair State University Community:
I am writing to inform you that Dr. Willard Gingerich, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, has informed me of his plan to step down from that position, effective June 30, 2021.
Over the past 13 years, Willard has played an important role during a transformational period that was distinguished by very significant development of the University’s academic programs and structures. New colleges and schools were established, hundreds of new faculty and professional staff were hired, Middle States accreditation was reaffirmed, and the University gained status as a doctoral, research university and as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Most recently, he oversaw the development of the University’s new Strategic Plan, and he has put in motion an important process for the reconsideration of the purposes and structure of the University’s Core Curriculum requirements.
While Willard is stepping down from his administrative role, he is not leaving the University. He will take up his professorship in the Department of English in spring of 2022 after a semester of administrative leave in the fall. As Willard has described it, he will complete the cycle of his career by returning for a time to the place where it began, in the classroom, teaching and pursuing scholarly research.
I have greatly appreciated the years of effort that Willard has contributed to the University’s administrative team. He has brought a strong understanding of, and deep appreciation for, the distinctiveness of the academic community, and a very useful resilience and generosity of spirit. I wish him well, as I know the Montclair State community will as well, and I am glad that he will remain a part of the University, for some years, as a member of the faculty.
The process for the selection of the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will await the Presidential transition.