The Board of Trustees named Dr. Paul R. Brown to be the eighth president of the University on Wednesday, March 13. Currently, Brown is the Dean of the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University and will take over on August 1 at the University.
The decision was made by the Board of Trustees on February 26 during a special meeting. The reason the announcement was delayed was due to both sides working out the details of the agreement.
“He was always the front runner in our minds going in and he received the unanimous vote to become the eighth president of Monmouth,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert Sculthorpe.
Brown looks forward to the opportunity and says he knows what he has to do to be a good president for the University. “This is a capstone activity in my career,” Brown said. “This is what I want to do and this will hopefully be a 10-year run. Presidents are stewards of Universities and you need to be a solid one, who maintains a healthy and vibrant and safe environment.”
During Brown’s time at Lehigh, he managed high levels of enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs as well as recruited and hired faculty at a quick pace that was never done before. He also helped the College of Business and Economics set forth a strategic plan which was approved by the faculty and will set the trajectory of the University for the next 10 years.
Brown has an extensive background in business. Before he joined Lehigh in 2007, he spent 20 years at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He was the associate dean of executive MBA Programs, and academic director of TRIUM, which is NYU Stern’s global executive MBA program and is aligned with the London School of Economics and Political Science and HEC School of Management in Paris. He also served as chair of the Department of Accounting, Taxation and Business Law at NYU Stern.
He attended college at Franklin and Marshall where received a Bachelor of Arts degree. Brown received a Doctorate of Philosophy and a Masters of Professional Accountancy degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Brown will succeed current President Paul G. Gaffney II, who will retire on July 31 after ten years of leading the University.
“I have come to know Dr. Brown over a dozen interactions since the selection was announced. He has a strong background at strong schools,” Gaffney said. “Moreover, he seems genuinely excited about coming to Monmouth. I have great confidence in him and know he will immediately embrace the University.”
Brown said he looks forward to getting to know all of the good people of the University including faculty, students, trustees and alumni. “My big challenge particularly when you have such a strong visible leadership role like President, will be to work my way through these relationships and hopefully make a mark as to what we want to do next as a University.”
Oscar Sanchez, President of Student Government Association, said he believes Brown has some very big shoes to fill, but feels that he can get the job done. “If I had one piece of advice for [Dr. Brown] it would be to stay connected to the students. Advancing the University in other ways is a great thing to do, but if students are unhappy, then you’re not doing the right job,” Sanchez said.
Sculthorpe said for the past two decades the campus has had two superior presidents in both Rebecca Stafford and Gaffney. He also feels the board will be able to look back 10 years from now and say that they made the right decision. “In each case they [Stafford and Gaffney] gave us 10 years of quality growth at Monmouth and I expect Dr. Brown will be the third in that list of three to do the same thing while adjusting to the time and the environment,” Sculthorpe said. “I think he has the wherewithal, foresight, and most importantly the enthusiasm to do the job.”