April 7, 1999
CONTACT: Jeanne Oswald
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Commission on Higher Education Names Executive Director

The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education today named Dr. James Sulton, Jr., the senior academic officer for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, to serve as its executive director. Dr. Sulton will assume the post on May 3.

"Dr. Sulton is a highly dynamic individual who brings the right skills for the job," said Alfred J. Cade, chair of the Commission. "He is a natural leader who will ably guide the work of the Commission and collaborate closely with the administration, the Presidents' Council, and the higher education community."

The Commission's four-member search committee, chaired by Mr. Cade, selected Dr. Sulton from a pool of 49 candidates competing in a national search.

As a member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education's senior executive group, Dr. Sulton participates in state-level planning and policy development, oversees the review of new and existing academic programs, and works closely with institutional academic officers and the statewide faculty council. His wide-ranging responsibilities include institutional accountability, quality assessment, student transfer policy, postsecondary accreditation, and strategic planning for teacher education.

Prior to joining the Colorado Commission in 1992, Dr. Sulton served the University of Wisconsin System for seven years as assistant to the president and as a senior academic planner. As a member of the management team for the 26-campus system, he participated in long-range planning and the state budget development process. Dr. Sulton was also responsible for evaluating programs for minority and disadvantaged students throughout the state system, and provided leadership to campuses in the recruitment and retention of minority faculty and academic staff.

Dr. Sulton holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree in international relations from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Howard University. He served as a faculty member at Howard University and as an adjunct faculty member in the African studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has extensive consulting experience in higher education and in international politics and development, and has written on issues in both fields.

As executive director of the Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Sulton will provide leadership to the 14-member Commission and its staff of 21 in fulfilling its responsibilities for statewide policy, planning, coordination, and advocacy for higher education. He will oversee research, data analysis, and statewide accountability efforts, and will coordinate the Commission's work with the Presidents' Council, the newly merged Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, the Legislature, the Governor's Office, and the K-12 community.

"The Commission on Higher Education has accomplished many important goals since it was established by the Higher Education Restructuring Act of 1994, but significant challenges remain. I feel confident that Jim Sulton will provide the leadership New Jersey needs in striving towards its vision of a higher education system that is among the best in the world, embracing excellence, access, and affordability," Mr. Cade said.

Dr. Peter Burnham, the president of Brookdale Community College, who serves as chair of the Presidents' Council and as a member of the Commission's search committee, also expressed his strong support for the new executive director. "Dr. Sulton's leadership qualities and his policy experience at both the state and system levels will be a strong asset to New Jersey. The Presidents' Council looks forward to a collegial and productive working relationship with him."

Dr. Sulton is married and the father of three children; he currently resides in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

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A summary of Dr. Sulton's experience and accomplishments is attached.

James Emile Sulton, Jr., Ph.D.

Senior Academic Officer
Colorado Commission on Higher Education

1992 - present Senior Academic Officer
Colorado Commission on Higher Education
1985 - 1992 Special Assistant to the President (1988-1992)
Senior Academic Planner (1987-1988)
Academic Planner (1985-1987)
Fellow, African Studies Program (1985-1992)

University of Wisconison System, Madison, Wisconsin
1980 - 1985 Assistant Professor, Comparative Politics, International Relations and African Studies
Howard University, Washington, D.C.
1980 Ph.D., International Relations
The Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
1975 M.A., International Relations
The Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.
1975 Arabic Intensive Language Program
The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
1973 B.A., Political Science
Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Other Activities and Accomplishments
  • As the Senior Academic Officer at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, serves as a member of the senior executive group, convenes academic officers and faculty advisory council from institutions throughout the state, and supervises review and approval of academic programs.
  • As a member of the University of Wisconsin System leadership team, participated in policy development, systemwide planning and implementation, program development in support of diversity, and development of state budget requests for the 26-campus system; was principal administrator of the financial aid programs.
  • Consultant to organizations including the Minnesota State University System, Milwaukee College Bound Program, American Association of Schools and Colleges of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Congressional testimony and frequent presentations at national and regional professional association meetings.
  • Board member: The Black American West Museum and Heritage Center; St. Mary's Academy. Former President of the Sudan Studies Association.

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