The next President of Georgian Court University sets two precedents - the first male to attain the post, and the first layman as well, in its 107 years.

New Georgian Court President Dr. Joseph Marbach
New Georgian Court President Dr. Joseph Marbach (Georgian Court University)

Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., steps into the position July 1 on the Lakewood campus, upon the retirement of Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D.

"Dr. Marbach is a proven leader, a respected scholar and an entrepreneurial-minded administrator with a lifelong commitment to Catholic higher education," Georgian Court University Board of Trustees Chair Lesa Lardieri-Wright said in a prepared statement.

Dr. Marbach, 53, was chosen after a national search that was led by Isaacson, Miller, a firm specializing in higher education. His predecessor led GCU through revolutionary changes in her 14 years as President, redefining its role as a coeducational school, community partner, and a leader in ecology, alternative energy, social justice and outreach to the needy.

"The cliché that we stand on the shoulders of giants could not be more apt in recognizing the vision and work of Sister Rosemary in preparing Georgian Court to survive and thrive as an institution of higher learning in the 21st century,"  Dr. Marbach said.

"She has done this by expanding the enrollment universe, improving the campus infrastructure, designing new curricular offerings and entering into strategic alliances with Meridian Health and other universities and colleges. Part of my task will be to build upon and expand these initiatives."

The new leader's most recent post was as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at LaSalle University in his native Philadelphia. He taught at Seton Hall University from 1994 to 2010, leaving the campus as an Associate Dean for Academic Administration and Outreach, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Among the programs that LaSalle advanced under his guidance are its national online degree initiative, continuing education for learners above age 25, and expansion of Latino-oriented programs with higher-education institutions centers in Pennsylvania and California.

More From Beach Radio