Ronald Applbaum, a respected academic leader and the current president of Kean University in New Jersey, has been named the next president of the University of Southern Colorado. He will assume the post in July.
"Throughout this process, we’ve been searching for a leader with the vision to help the University of Southern Colorado use its strengths and to continue to build its reputation as an outstanding regional university," said Reginald Washington, president of the university’s governing board. "In Ronald Applbaum, we are confident we have selected just such a leader to help the institution achieve its goals."
Applbaum, president of Kean University in Union, New Jersey, since 1996, also served as president of Westfield State College in Westfield, Mass., from February 1990 until he joined Kean University, an institution with 12,000 students.
Patrick Garcia, chairman of the search committee and member of the State Board of Agriculture that oversees USC, said Applbaum stood out from more than 80 applicants for the position because of his broad experience in higher education.
"In searching for a leader for the institution, we were looking for someone with outstanding credentials and a history of accomplishments," Garcia said. "Although there were a number of outstanding candidates, the more we got to know Dr. Applbaum, the more it became clear he was the right person to lead the university."
During his career, Applbaum has held a variety of academic posts, including serving as vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, from 1982 until 1989 and as dean of the School of Humanities at Long Beach, Calif., from 1977 until June 1982. He also was professor of speech communication at California State University-Long Beach and the University of Texas-Pan American.
Applbaum earned his doctorate in speech communication from Pennsylvania State University as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field from California State University-Long Beach. He began his career as a teaching assistant in speech communication at Pennsylvania State University in 1966.
Albert C. Yates, chancellor of the Colorado State University System, said: "Ronald Applbaum’s academic credentials and strong track record of higher education leadership have positioned him to lead USC to an even brighter future. We in the CSU System are looking forward to working closely with Dr. Applbaum as we seek to serve the Pueblo community and the state of Colorado."
Applbaum, who is married and has one child, will meet with the campus community and hold a press conference in Pueblo at a date to be determined.