Mary-Beth Cooper, senior vice president of student affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology, will become the 13th president of Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., effective Sept. 1.
Cooper joined RIT in 2001 and is the chief student affairs officer for RIT, responsible for the delivery of student services and campus life. In addition to her administrative role, she serves as a distinguished lecturer in RIT’s Saunders College of Business and as an adjunct professor in the Warner School of Education at University of Rochester.
“I am honored to have been chosen by Springfield College and very excited to launch this next chapter in my career,” Cooper said. “But this is also bittersweet news for me because I am sad to leave RIT, the many wonderful colleagues I’ve had here, and especially the students.”
Cooper was instrumental in sharply improving student satisfaction at RIT, an increase of 24 percent from 2002 to 2012. In 2012, RIT received an overall student satisfaction rating that was “significantly higher” than the average of private colleges and universities in the U.S. She played a major role in moving men’s and women’s hockey to the NCAA Division I level from Division III.
Cooper also co-led RIT President Bill Destler’s Commission on Women to improve the campus climate for women. She is also a past recipient of the RIT Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award.
Cooper is also known for her volunteer work in the community. She is chair of the Corporate Board of Directors of the YMCA. In 2005, she was named one of Rochester's most influential women by the Rochester Business Journal, which recognizes the achievements of women who work in the highest ranks of area organizations and make or influence policy decisions. She has also been recognized nationally, having earned the Outstanding Contributions to Higher Education Award and The Susan B. Anthony Promise Award from UR’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.
“We are extraordinarily proud to see Mary-Beth Cooper become the leader of Springfield College,” said RIT President Destler. “She is passionate about student success and the development of young adults on every level. This is a loss for both RIT and the Rochester community, yet it is an honor to see a member of the RIT family rise to the ranks of president.”
Prior to her tenure at RIT, she was associate provost for student services and dean of students at University of Rochester, as well as dean of students at St. John Fisher College.
Cooper earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in education from University of Georgia and a doctoral degree in education administration from Michigan State University. In addition, she earned her MBA from University of Rochester and a doctorate of management from Case Western Reserve University. She has also completed two leadership certificate programs offered by Harvard University.
Cooper leaves her position at RIT on July 31.