by Thomas Neira
Dr. Karen Pennington, Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life, has announced her plan to retire from Montclair State University effective Jan. 1, 2021.
President Susan A. Cole informed the university of Pennington’s announcement in an email on the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 23, where she also addresses Pennington’s contributions to the university as well as her accomplishments throughout her years of service.
“I have served with Karen by my side for the past 22 years, and I can say with absolute certainty that the university and generations of thousands of students have been the beneficiary of her knowledge, her integrity, her excellent judgment, and her consistent desire always to do the right thing,” Cole stated in the email.
Just like Cole, Pennington has been at Montclair State since 1998. Pennington served the role as a mentor for many students and staff. She also has been an advocate for the university and students while simultaneously working on the growth and development of Montclair State over the years.
In January 2020, Pennington was awarded the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) which she has earned from students, faculty and fellow administrators for the significant contributions she has made in higher education.
Pennington’s plan to retire was not a new decision and had been discussed before the COVID-19 pandemic forced Montclair State to switch to virtual classes halfway through the 2020 spring semester.
“I originally planned to retire in June of and changed my plans to retire in December of this year. That decision was made last spring, pre-COVID,” Pennington said. “However, the announcement and plans were put on hold until after we got over the first part of the crisis and got the semester back on schedule.”
Cole in her email announcement…