RIT VP named president of Massachusetts college

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 6/24/2013 4:00:50 PM

The vice president of student affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology is on the move.

Mary-Beth Cooper has been named the 13th president of Springfield College in Massachusetts, a post she is to start Sept. 1.

Cooper had been with RIT since 2001 and is the chief student affairs officer at the university, responsible for delivery of student services and campus life. She has served 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.”

RIT officials said Cooper was instrumental in improving student satisfaction at RIT, which increased 24 percent from 2002 to 2012. She also played a major role in moving men’s and women’s hockey to the NCAA Division I level from Division III.

Cooper was a leader in RIT president William Destler’s Commission on Women to improve the campus climate for women. She also is a past recipient of the RIT Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award.

“We are extraordinarily proud to see Mary-Beth Cooper become the leader of Springfield College,” Destler said in a statement. “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.”

Cooper previously had served as associate provost for student services and dean of students at the University of Rochester, as well as dean of students at St. John Fisher College. She will leave her position at RIT on July 31, officials said.

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