(MAHWAH, NJ) -- Ramapo College of New Jersey has named a renowned educator and scholar as its new chief academic officer, the Mahwah-based college announced.
Dr. Michael J. Middleton will step into the role of Provost and Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Growth with Ramapo College in May. Middleton brings a wealth of experience, perspective, and expertise to the state’s preeminent liberal arts college. He will join Ramapo from Hunter College, City University of New York, where he is the Klara and Larry Silverstein Dean of the School of Education and Professor of Educational Foundations. The recipient of multiple teaching excellence awards, Middleton has also secured millions of dollars in grant support from the National Science Foundation for successful efforts related to student motivation and persistence.
“As Ramapo ascends to serve as a national exemplar for public higher education, it is exciting to bring Dr. Middleton– an inspiring educator, research scientist, and leader– on to our leadership team,” said Cindy Jebb, president of Ramapo College. “We look forward to welcoming Dr. Middleton to Ramapo at such a consequential time as we embark on a bold new strategic plan and as the outcomes of a Ramapo College education grow increasingly synonymous with the development of responsible, ethical, and successful leaders across all sectors.”
Middleton has also enjoyed administrative and faculty roles with the University of Massachusetts Boston, Harvard University, University of New Hampshire, and George Mason University. Throughout his career he has also been tapped by national organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Carnegie Foundation, and the American Educational Research Association. His educational background includes: Ph.D. in Combined Program in Education and Psychology, University of Michigan; Ed.M, Human Development and Psychology, Harvard University; and A.B., Psychology, Cum Laude, Harvard College.
“What most attracted me to Ramapo is the emphasis on leader development, student success, and the liberal arts as an engine for personal, professional, and civic growth,” Middleton said. Co-author of Motivation to Learn: Transforming Classroom Culture to Support Student Achievement, Middleton’s research has focused on cultivating student achievement and teacher effectiveness by leveraging student motivation and learning strategies, and building classroom community. As part of his academic leadership while at Hunter, Middleton helped spearhead the formation of a Center for Social Emotional Learning, initiated programming on race and equity for faculty, staff and students, and advanced a team to secure grant funding as a Hispanic Serving Institute to examine the first year experience for STEM majors.
Middleton joins Ramapo College on the heels of the institution receiving regional and national recognition for affordability, return on investment, quality, and student success. Graduation and retention rates of Ramapo students exceed state and national averages and, as just one of many markers of student success, the superior rates are made possible by the College’s provision of impactful mentorship and student well-being supports, award-winning advisement practices, hands-on learning, and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Ramapo was recently recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top institution in the Best Regional Universities North category, being named as one of only two New Jersey public institutions listed in the top 10, and ascending several spots to the #28 ranking among all schools in the same region. In addition, Ramapo College is one of only two New Jersey programs among 25 institutions in the Regional Public Universities North category to earn a Best Undergraduate Teaching designation, which acknowledges the College’s faculty and administrators’ commitment to teaching undergraduate students in a high-quality manner.