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Dr. George A. Pruitt

1982–2018

Dr. George A. Pruitt was appointed the institution’s third president in December 1982 and served for over thirty-five years. He is among the longest-serving public university presidents in the nation and was identified as one of the country’s most effective college presidents in a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation. Prior to his tenure at Thomas Edison State University, he served in executive leadership positions at Illinois State University, Towson State University, Morgan State University, Tennessee State University, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Dr. Pruitt served five secretaries of education under three presidents of both parties during his tenure as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advised the United States Secretary of Education on the recognition of accrediting agencies. He is the recipient of five honorary degrees, numerous awards, honors and commendations, and has consulted widely in higher education, business and government.

He currently serves as member and past chairman of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, member and past chairman of the board of directors of SEEDCO (Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation), and member of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. He is the former chairman of the board of trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL); former vice chair, National Commission on Higher Education Attainment; and past member and chairman of the board of trustees of The Union Institute & University and Rider University. He is a former member of the boards of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Choose New Jersey, Inc., Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Greater Trenton, Inc., New Jersey State Planning Commission, Mercer Medical Center, Millennium Leadership Initiative, Sun National Bank and The Trenton Savings Bank. He is a former advisor of the Kellogg National Fellowship Program, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, past member and chairman of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, and of the board of directors of the MidJersey Chamber of Commerce and Capital City Partnership.

Dr. Pruitt, currently serves as president emeritus of Thomas Edison State University and board-distinguished fellow of the University’s John S. Watson School of Public Service. He continues to be active in the formulation of educational policy nationally and within the State of New Jersey.

My job every day was to understand and articulate this vision for the institution and then try to find these really talented people who were excited by it and figure out how to make them successful. You’re constantly learning. It’s the same with technology. When we started, no one had used it before so we had to create it. In doing so, we learned what works and what doesn’t. For us, the learning never stopped. We’re still doing that today, and I hope it never stops.