Montclair State University’s new president officially joined the school Monday.

On his first day on the job, Jonathan Koppell settled into his office, began meeting people, played an early morning game of one-on-one basketball with his son in Panzer Gym and sent the following in a video message to campus, according to the school: “I am so confident we are going to do great things together and I can’t wait to get started.”

The university said Koppell’s first weeks on campus will include meetings with members of the university community, tours of the campus and a town hall meeting for employees. 

“There will be many more opportunities for the entire campus community to get to know me,” Koppell said in an email to faculty, staff and students.

The school first announced in June Koppell would succeed Susan A. Cole, who retired after 23 years in the role.

At the time, the school, in a written announcement, described Koppell as a “nationally regarded scholar of policy, organization and management who transformed the public affairs college at Arizona State University into one of the largest, best and most innovative in the nation.”

Koppell will oversee the return to in-person learning this fall, with required vaccination for students coming back to campus.

From 2005 through 2009, Koppell was associate director and then director of the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance at Yale University. He was director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University from 2010 until 2013.

At ASU, he was also the vice president for public service and social impact.

For the last decade, he’d been dean of Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

New Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell, at center, is welcomed to the school Wednesday morning by Bob Russo, a Montclair councilman and former mayor as well as an adjunct professor of public administration at MSU, at left, and Arnie Korotkin, a sociology adjunct professor. Russo and Korotkin both also represented their AFT adjuncts local. Russo asked the first question in a town hall meeting with Koppell, with more than 200 faculty members present. (COURTESY BOB RUSSO)
New Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell, at center, is welcomed to the school Wednesday morning by Bob Russo, a Montclair councilman and former mayor as well as an adjunct professor of public administration at MSU, at left, and Arnie Korotkin, a sociology adjunct professor. Russo and Korotkin both also represented their AFT adjuncts local. Russo asked the first question in a town hall meeting with Koppell, with more than 200 faculty members present. (COURTESY BOB RUSSO)
loading...

— Louis C. Hochman