Montclair State’s first female president announces plans to retire after 23 years

Montclair State University’s first female president has announced her plans to retire at the end of the school year after more than 20 years.

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2020, 9:45 AM

Updated 1,315 days ago

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Montclair State University’s first female president has announced her plans to retire at the end of the school year after more than 20 years.
Dr. Susan Cole became the university’s eighth president in 1998. She will have served 23 years in the position.
“It is a long and wonderful run in my life,” she says. “I’m never going to be finished, no matter when or how many years. I always think of the next thing to do, so I thought that I just have to stop at some point and this is the time.”
Cole says that in her position as the first woman to assume leadership at Montclair State, she was a role model.
“That said, I never thought of myself as a woman president. I always thought of myself as president and I brought to that role everything that I am as a human being," she says.
The university's enrollment nearly doubled under her leadership. Montclair State earned national and state recognition as a research university. The university also created four new schools and colleges.
"The people of New Jersey owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Susan Cole for her extraordinary contributions to our state...I have great respect and admiration for her and wish her nothing but the best as she embarks on this next chapter,” Gov. Phil Murphy said of Cole in a statement.
Cole says that she made the decision to retire about a year ago. She says that she announced it this week to give the board of trustees enough time to run a national search and ultimately appoint a new president. But Cole says that she is not done with the school just yet.
“Right now, I’m president of Montclair State University and we’ve got a tough year to get through,” she says.
Cole will remain in her position until July 1, 2021. She says that she will remain in her role beyond that date if necessary until the next president can begin.


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