Gov. Phil Murphy’s Commissioner of Education will be named today as the new president of Kean University, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
The Kean Board of Trustees are meeting now to vote on the hiring of Dr. Lamont Repollet and a formal announcement is expected sometime this evening, two sources confirmed.
POLITICO New Jersey first reported in February that Repollet was among the candidates being considered for the post, which had been narrowed to about ten contenders. In a June 2019 article on the NJ Left Behind site, Laura Waters first reported Repollet’s interest in the post.
The timing of his departure, which could be as early as July 1, comes at a time when New Jersey public schools have been closed for the remainder of the school year as the state fights the spread of COVID-19.
Repollet served as superintendent of schools for Asbury Park prior to Gov. Phil Murphy nominating him to lead the state Department of Education.
Repollet would succeed Dawood Farahi, who said last summer that he would step down at the end of the current academic year.
It’s not immediately clear who Murphy will pick to replace Repollet.
Repollet declined to comment on his new post, saying only that he is “looking forward to reopening New Jersey’s schools.”
Update — Murphy released the following statement:
“Dr. Repollet was one of the first Cabinet appointments I announced, and he quickly distinguished himself as a strong and capable educational leader. For the past nearly 30 months, as Commissioner, he has provided sound oversight and counsel to more than 600 diverse local education agencies across our state.
“During his tenure, he managed the expansion of pre-K across New Jersey, grew STEM opportunities for thousands of students, and facilitated changes to our statewide testing regime. He helped ensure the equitable distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars in new school aid. And, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he has helped our educators and students navigate the challenges of transitioning to remote learning and worked diligently to ensure that our school communities continue to receive the supports they need.
“When I sought this office, I said my Commissioner of Education would fully understand the challenges students and educators face in their classrooms, because I would choose someone who came from the classroom. Dr. Repollet has provided that leadership. While he will be missed, I have full confidence that the team at DOE will continue to build on his track record of success.
“I wish Lamont and his family nothing but the best in his next endeavor, and know Kean University is in good hands with him at the helm.”