Western New England University introduces new president

June 24, 2020 | G. Michael Dobbs

Dr. Robert Johnson has been named the sixth president of Western New England University.
Reminder Publishing photo by G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Robert Johnson, the sixth president of the Western New England University, was introduced during a press event on June 15. He is currently the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  

Johnson will succeed Dr. Anthony Caprio who has served as the university’s president for the past 24 years. Johnson will take the office on Aug. 15.

Johnson thanked Caprio for his many years of service and advancement of the university.

He added, “For me, first and foremost, it’s all about the students, that we educate the next generation of students with a sense of humanity and purpose in all that they do. We live in interesting times right now – COVID-19, social unrest – if ever there was a time for possibility thinking it is now.

“And let us not forget our mission and our purpose for being here at Western New England University. It’s about helping each and every one of our students realize their dreams, their goals, their aspirations; helping them to remember that it’s possible even in the midst of a global pandemic, that happens about ever 100 years, that it’s possible to realize your dreams. Even in the midst of social unrest all across this country and all across the world, it’s possible to achieve your goals.”

Prior to becoming chancellor at UMass Dartmouth, he was president of Becker College in Worcester from 2010 to 2017 and previously been appointed to leadership positions at Sinclair College, the University of Dayton, Oakland University, and Central State University (Ohio).

Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Johnson to the Mass Tech Collaborative and Gov. Charlie Baker appointed him to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and the Hate Crimes Task Force and the Black Advisory Council.

A native of Detroit, MI, Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Touro University International, formerly a division of Touro College, New York, NY; a Master’s degree in Education Administration from the University of Cincinnati; a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta; and a Certificate in Applied Neuroscience from MIT Sloan School of Management.   

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