Office of the President
Welcome to Coppin State University - a purpose driven, urban university committed to academic excellence and service to the community.
I am pleased to join the Coppin State University family as your interim president during this period of transition. I would like to express my appreciation to Chancellor Kirwan for entrusting me with this tremendous leadership responsibility and for his support of Coppin.
I am coming to you after serving 35 years in Higher Education leadership and a brief period of retirement and independent consulting. Please be assured that I come with no preconceived notion of dramatically changing the institution on my own. Of course, as with any new leader, administrative changes can be expected, but these changes will come with appropriate input and in the best interest of the university. My philosophy is that it is always more prudent to err on the side of inclusiveness than on the side of exclusiveness.
Early in my short tenure at Coppin, I hope to engage as many of you as possible in small group discussions to identify strategies for meeting the USM system goals for closing the achievement gap, ensuring student success, improving financial accountability and enhancing our overall efficiency and productivity. I am committed to shared governance with the caveat shared governance requires shared accountability, responsible leadership and superior customer service to meet the needs of our primary clientele - our students.
Coppin State University has a strong legacy of service to Baltimore and the state of Maryland. Together we can recapture that period of greatness by identifying and focusing on our strengths and addressing our challenges.
I come to you with a firm commitment to the three priorities of our public universities – learning, discovery, and engagement. It is critical to ensure that we have the appropriate learning environment for our students to be successful and perform at their best. The learning environment must be customer friendly always remembering that the students are our primary reason for being here. Our faculty must engage in research so that they can be current, competitive, relevant and true participants in the intellectual life of the campus.
Coppin must be a dynamic university. Its location demands this. We must identify our clientele and the constituencies we wish to serve and create an enabling environment for local, community and economic development.
As you are aware, the USM Board of Regents established a special review committee to undertake a comprehensive review of CSU and develop strategies for the university’s future success. This is a clear indication of the Chancellor’s and the Board’s commitment to the success of Coppin. My role will be to begin the implementation of these strategies and facilitate a smooth transition for your next president.
While the review committee, under the excellent and able leadership of Dr. Freeman Hrabowski is hard at work, I will proceed with some priorities which require our immediate attention:
- Retention and Graduation rate
- Governance/Structural issues
- Achieving a balanced budget
- Revisiting our Strategic Plan and Accreditation Issues
I look forward to collaborating with many of you as together we attempt to recreate a Coppin that we can all be proud of.
I thank Dr. Reginald Avery for his years of service and dedication to Coppin State University. Please join me in wishing him well in his future endeavors.
Mortimer H. Neufville, Ph.D.