June 23, 2000
CONTACT: Jeanne Oswald
(609) 292-4310

Al Koeppe Elected Chairman of Commission on Higher Education

Alfred C. Koeppe of Skillman, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company in Newark, was elected today to serve as the next chairman of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.

"I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as the Commission's chairman for the coming two years," said Mr. Koeppe. "I look forward to providing active leadership for the Commission and New Jersey's higher education community."

Mr. Koeppe succeeds Alfred J. Cade, who served two terms as chairman.

"In the six years since Governor Whitman established it as the coordinating body for New Jersey higher education, the Commission on Higher Education has had its share of successes, thanks to the cooperation it has enjoyed with the higher education community at large," Mr. Koeppe said.

"As chairman, I expect to build on those successes in planning and policy development and continue our commitment to advocacy for higher education. Our system of public and independent colleges and universities is critical to New Jersey's economic growth and vitality. All of us who are involved have the obligation to raise awareness of higher education's important contributions," he said.

Mr. Koeppe has been a member of the Commission since its inception, appointed by Governor Whitman in 1994 when she signed the Higher Education Restructuring Act. He also served on the Governor's Panel to Restructure Higher Education and the Governor's Transition Team. In addition to serving as the Commission's vice chair, and on its Executive Committee and PreK-12 Collaboration Committee, Mr. Koeppe chaired the Commission's Task Force on Collective Bargaining, the Advocacy Committee, and the Ad-Hoc Bylaws Committee.

Before assuming his current position at PSE&G earlier this year, Mr. Koeppe served, since 1995, as Senior Vice President for Corporate Services and External Affairs. Prior to joining PSE&G, Mr. Koeppe was the President and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. In addition to various positions at Bell Atlantic, Mr. Koeppe was a trial attorney with AT&T and the New Jersey Department of the Public Defender.

Mr. Koeppe is also active in numerous organizations, including the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, which he currently chairs, the Newark Regional Business Partnership, and the New Jersey Network Foundation. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and Seton Hall University's School of Law.

In addition to electing Mr. Koeppe as chair, the Commission also elected as vice chair William M. Freeman of Warren, the President and CEO of Bell Atlantic - New Jersey, Mr. Cade, of Linwood, John Kelly, of Convent Station, and Amy Handlin, of Middletown were elected to serve as the other three members of the Commission's Executive Committee.

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