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Merodie A. Hancock, PhD


Dr. Merodie A. Hancock currently serves as the fourth president of Thomas Edison State University, having assumed office on March 5, 2018.

She is a nationally recognized leader in the administration and delivery of innovative education programs for adult students. Access, success and completion make up Dr. Hancock’s educational philosophy. Through decades of meaningful interaction with nontraditional learners, she knows that education is the nexus through which one’s capability is harnessed for positive personal and professional growth and societal impact. She has dedicated her career to serving a multitude of underrepresented populations, including minorities, first-generation students, veterans and active-duty military members.

Dr. Hancock serves as corporate secretary on the Board of Directors of Greater Trenton, Inc. and is a member of the Board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. As an external reviewer for several universities, she has participated in numerous self-studies, reports and evaluation visits for regional accreditors, the Department of Defense, state-approving agencies and specialized accrediting organizations. She speaks widely on such topics as strategic partnerships, pricing models and innovative teaching best practices at professional conferences and meetings.

She previously served on the board of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges, Inside Track Advisory Board, the Distance Education Commission Advisory Group for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services (past president), United Way of Isabella County (Michigan), United Way of Greater Capital District (New York) and Special Olympics Michigan. She has served in active roles at the American Council on Education, Council of College and Military Educators, League for Innovation and as a member of the National Commission on Online Learning Benchmarking Study.

Dr. Hancock holds a PhD in urban services and education administration from Old Dominion University, an MBA from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College. She holds certificates from the Institute of Educational Management, Harvard University and the University Professional Continuing Education Association Leadership Academy, New York University; a certificate in Process Design and Implementation: Reengineering and Change Management from Michael Hammer and Company; and a certificate in Nonprofit Board Leadership from the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University, Michigan.

Prior to her election as president of Thomas Edison State University, Dr. Hancock served as president of the State University of New York Empire State College, where she was responsible for the operation of the school’s 35 locations throughout New York, its worldwide online programs and eight international sites.

“Thomas Edison State University has empowered adult students to transform their lives through education since 1972. Our 50th will celebrate this rich past, but it is not a time to rest on our laurels. We are entering a whole new era in talent and economic development, and TESU is ready for the next 50 years of creating relevant academic pathways for successful working adults.”