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Meet Our Honoree

Dr. Merodie A. HancockDr. Merodie A. Hancock

Dr. Merodie A. Hancock currently serves as the fourth president of Thomas Edison State University. She assumed office on March 5, 2018, following an extensive national search.

She is a nationally recognized leader in the administration and delivery of innovative education programs for adult students. Hancock has dedicated her career to expanding access to higher education for nontraditional students and has extensive experience serving the education needs of veterans and active members of the military.

As president, Hancock serves as the University’s chief executive officer and is responsible for all operations of the institution, including its finances, academic programs, fundraising and administration of resources.

Prior to her election as president of Thomas Edison State University, Hancock served as president of SUNY Empire State College, where she was responsible for the operation of the school's 35 locations throughout New York, the worldwide Center for Distance Learning and eight international sites. At Empire State College, she oversaw the education of the college’s 20,000 students as well as the employment of 1,700 faculty and staff and active engagement with 70,000 alumni.

Prior to joining SUNY Empire State College, Hancock served as vice president at Central Michigan University Global Campus, where she was responsible for delivering academic programs at the university’s remote campuses, military, and community college locations and online programs. She has also held teaching and administrative leadership positions at the University of Maryland University College, where she significantly reduced the college’s operating expenses across the U.S., European and Asian divisions and coordinated early testing of hybrid e-books, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she served on the faculty and as director of three military education centers.

Hancock has been involved in several professional organizations, including the Distance Education Commission Advisory Group, Inside Track Advisory Board, Council of College and Military Educators, League for Innovation, National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services (past president) and the National Commission on Online Learning Benchmarking Study.

She has also served as an external reviewer for several universities and participated in numerous self-studies, reports and evaluation visits for regional accreditors, the Department of Defense, state approving agencies and specialized accrediting organizations, and has made presentations at professional conferences and meetings on topics such as strategic partnerships, pricing models and innovative teaching best practices.

Hancock holds a PhD in urban services and education administration from Old Dominion University, an MBA from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Scripps College. Additionally, she has a certificate from the Institute of Educational Management from Harvard University, a certificate from the University Professional Continuing Education Association Leadership Academy at New York University, a certificate in Process Design and Implementation: Reengineering and Change Management from Michael Hammer and Company and a certificate in Nonprofit Board Leadership from the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.