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About Dr. George Pruitt

George Henrys event 2014George A. Pruitt Ph.D. has been president of Thomas Edison State College since 1982.  He has been active in the formulation of national and state higher-education and economic development policy, and has pioneered higher education investment in Trenton. Deeply committed to the revitalization of New Jersey’s capital city, Dr. Pruitt has led Thomas Edison State College’s effort to restore several historic buildings in its downtown, preserving the essence of the city’s storied past and stimulating economic development. These buildings include the Kelsey Building, one of the architectural landmarks of Trenton; the townhouse complex located adjacent to New Jersey’s State House complex; the Center for Learning and Technology; and Kuser Mansion, all on West State Street, as well as the Academic Center and Canal Banks buildings located on West Hanover Street.

Dr. Pruitt holds the conviction that Thomas Edison State College, as a public institution of higher education, has a responsibility to apply its research, expertise and other resources to strengthening leadership in the public and non-profit sectors and enhancing the capacity of those leaders to address the most critical public-policy challenges. This conviction led him to establish The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at the college, working closely with leaders from foundations and the public sector, who would become the institute’s long-term funders, partners and clients.

The institute is dedicated, through practical research and technical assistance, to deepening the analysis around critical public-policy challenges and broadening the range of policy ideas, perspectives and options available to urban officials.  It is currently developing a regional comprehensive economic development strategy for 19 densely populated municipalities in Northern and Central New Jersey, which will be implemented in partnership with the New Jersey Urban Mayors’ Association and will encompass economic development, job creation and transportation access.

Prior to coming to Thomas Edison State College, Dr. Pruitt served in executive leadership positions at Illinois State University; at Towson State University and Morgan State University, both in Maryland; at Tennessee State University; and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning in Chicago. He continues to be active in the formulation of educational policy nationally and within New Jersey.

He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and as a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. He has also served as vice chairman of the National Commission on Higher Education Attainment; as a member of the boards of directors of the American Council on Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, part of the U.S. Department of Education; all in Washington, D.C. He serves as chairman of the, Middle States Commission on Higher Education in Philadelphia, which oversees the region’s colleges and universities, and member of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.; and is a member of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities in Trenton. He has also served as a member of the New Jersey State Planning Commission.

Dr. Pruitt is chairman of the Board of Directors of Capital City Partnership, Inc. and a past chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce, both in Trenton. He is a former member of the boards of directors of the Trenton Savings Bank in Trenton and Sun National Bank in Vineland, N.J. He also serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation in New York and as a former advisor to the Kellogg National Fellowship Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He has consulted widely in business and government, as well as within the higher education community.  He has served in an advisory capacity to five secretaries of education under three presidents of both parties. He is the recipient of five honorary degrees in addition to numerous awards, honors and commendations.

In a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation, Dr. Pruitt was identified as one of the most effective college presidents in the United States. The City of Trenton, and indeed the State of New Jersey, have been strengthened, and will continue to be strengthened for generations, in no small part because of George Pruitt’s commitment and dedication. New Jersey Future is proud to honor him.

New Jersey Future honors Dr. George Pruitt October 29, 2015, 5:30-8:00 PM at the Trenton City Museum.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478

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