Junius Gonzales has been named Montclair State University's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, effective March 7.

"I am thrilled that Junius Gonzales will be joining the senior leadership team. His broad-ranging experience, track record of innovation, and his commitment to working collaboratively to support students and faculty will positively impact the entire University community," MSU President Jonathan Koppell said in a school press release. "I am looking forward to working closely with him as we elevate Montclair to become a national model of an innovative 21st-century public university."

Gonzales brings extensive experience as a leader in higher education, the press release said. He has served as the chief academic officer at the University of Texas-El Paso, senior vice president for academic affairs in the University of North Carolina System and as the UNC System's interim president in 2016. He currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the New York Institute of Technology.

"Joining Montclair State University is a tremendous honor," Gonzales said in the release. "I am impressed by Montclair's rising trajectory, which includes outstanding student success, remarkable growth in research and scholarship, and increasing recognition in national rankings. The University's designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, its diversity and inclusivity, and its sense of community and belonging resonate deeply with me, given my personal journey as a first-generation college student from a minority background.

Gonzales began his career as a psychiatrist who treated patients and conducted research in Georgetown University's academic medical center before joining the National Institutes of Health, where he became director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research in the National Institute of Mental Health, overseeing a $250 million research portfolio that included the largest-ever federally funded studies of the comparative effectiveness of different treatments for mental health disorders, the release said.

Gonzales succeeds Kimberly Hollister, who since July has served as Acting Provost over the last six months, after Willard Gingerich stepped down to return to the faculty as a professor of English.