Coppin State University—the historically Black university located in Baltimore—has tapped the president of West Virginia State University to be its next president.
Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins has served as the president of WVSU since 2016 and has been praised with growing student enrollment and securing millions of dollars in grants for the public HBCU. During his tenure at the university, he also established the university’s first nursing and engineering programs, seven fully online academic programs, and forged a number of new international partnerships. He also created the “Yellow Jacket Bridge to Success” program and the “Registration Celebration” initiatives that resulted in the university’s highest retention rate in six years.
Jenkins’ appointment as the next president of Coppin State University will return him back to the “Old Line State.” Prior to becoming the 11th president at WVSU, Jenkins—who earned his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University—served as vice president for student affairs and enrollment management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Prior to that, he held administrative positions at the University of Central Florida, Northeastern Illinois University, the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of Houston—Clear Lake.
Jenkins will take the helm of Coppin State University in the summer of 2020, according to Robert L. Caret, chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM). He will succeed Dr. Mickey Burnim, the former president of Bowie State University who has served as interim president.
“West Virginia State University has benefited greatly under the leadership of President Jenkins,” said Charles Jones, chair of WVSU’s Board of Governors. “On behalf of the Board of Governors, we wish him continued success in this new endeavor.”
Jenkins said that he is a “extremely proud” of the milestones achieved at WVSU during his tenure.
“STATE is a magnificent place with great students, dedicated alumni, world-class faculty and amazing and hardworking staff,” he said, adding that recruitment, retention and graduating students will be his top priority at Coppin.
“I look to come in and complement the work that is being done by outstanding faculty and staff,” he said in an interview with Diverse. “I want to continue to assess what best practices are in place as we move toward creating access and retaining students and getting them to graduation.”
Jenkins will have his work cut out for him at Coppin. The university has had six presidents since 2003 and its current student body at 3,100 is a dramatic decline from the 4,000 students that enrolled at the university about two decades ago.