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March 14, 2023



Board of Trustees unanimously approves the appointment of Dr. Caldwell, an experienced leader in higher education, K-12 education, business, and government and the first African American president in University history.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, Feb. 5, 2023 — The Centenary University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Dale G. Caldwell, Ed.D., as the University’s 15th president. Dr. Caldwell, who will be the first African American president of the University, will begin his tenure at Centenary on July 1.

Dr. Caldwell is currently executive director of the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University, as well as president of the board of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey. His experience includes being the founding executive director of the Newark Alliance, deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and a senior manager at Deloitte Consulting. He will succeed current Centenary University President Bruce Murphy, Ed.D., who last fall announced his retirement effective June 30.

In making the announcement, Centenary University Board Chair Rochelle Makela-Goodman cited Dr. Caldwell’s extensive leadership in higher education, business, and government and his commitment to fostering innovation and diversity as key drivers of the board’s decision. “This was an extremely competitive process that began with more than 100 applicants,” Makela-Goodman said. “Dr. Caldwell’s impressive experience leading programs that promote educational access, innovation, revenue generation, equity, and entrepreneurship, and his success in forging partnerships with New Jersey businesses to advance education, align strongly with our mission and the experience sought by students in our region. The board looks forward to supporting Dr. Caldwell’s comprehensive strategy to build on the great work of Dr. Murphy.”

As executive director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the past four years, Dr. Caldwell has led the transformation of the organization to become the state’s most influential entrepreneurial institute serving family businesses, veteran entrepreneurs, and urban enterprises. His success building this institute led to his recognition as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Higher Education in New Jersey by NJBIZ. Dr. Caldwell is also president of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey, steering the development of a strategic vision and recommending operational initiatives resulting in a $132 million revenue increase during his 21-year tenure.

In addition, Dr. Caldwell has held senior executive positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He began his career at Deloitte Consulting, where he was promoted to senior manager, served as the founding executive director of the Newark Alliance, which is focused on the education and economic revitalization of Newark, and later became the deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, which provides financial support and technical advice to municipalities, businesses, and individuals.

Throughout his career, Dr. Caldwell has been appointed to a number of leadership roles that advance diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, he is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council, leading the University’s diversity initiatives and playing a key role in securing a $1.5 million state grant to provide diversity training and sensitivity analysis of instruction and courses. Dr. Caldwell is also a recipient of the ROI Influencers People of Color and Diversity & Inclusion awards as one of the most influential people of color and experts on DEI in the state.

A resident of New Brunswick, NJ, Dr. Caldwell is president of the city’s Board of Education, serving as both an appointed and elected member of the board since 1998. In 2009, he was named the New Jersey School Board Member of the Year by the New Jersey School Boards Association. He is also a Licensed Local Pastor with the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Caldwell earned a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University (Economics), a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Education Administration from Seton Hall University.

“I am grateful for the board’s confidence in my ability to lead Centenary at this pivotal time in the University’s history,” Dr. Caldwell said. Citing the University’s strong commitment to the success of its students and the Skylands Region, he continued, “I look forward to strengthening partnerships between the University and business leaders to grow Centenary’s reputation for scholarship, entrepreneurship, and service.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township.







1 comment

  1. The board of directors plays a crucial role in overseeing the company's strategic direction and decision-making. Comprising elected or appointed individuals, the board ensures that the company operates in the best interest of its shareholders. They are responsible for making key policy decisions, approving budgets, and appointing executive leadership.


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