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April 3, 2018

Len Jessup Named New CGU President

Len Jessup will take the helm as the university looks ahead to its centennial in 2025.

Claremont Graduate University announces the selection of Len Jessup, president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), as the new president of Claremont Graduate University (CGU).

He will take office at CGU on July 1, 2018.

In an email message sent today to CGU students, faculty, staff, and alumni, Presidential Search Committee Chair Donald Baker and Board of Trustees Chair Tim Kirley said trustees voted unanimously in favor of Jessup, praising him as “a gifted administrator” and “practicing scholar.”

What made the selection process run smoothly and effectively, Baker and Kirley said, “was the combination of Len’s outstanding record of achievements with a warm and intellectually open nature that will bolster the character and traditions that CGU has fostered since its founding in 1925.”

During his most recent tenure at UNLV, Jessup has been noted for leading a 10-year strategic plan to reinvent the university as an R1 powerhouse and effecting growth across the university’s many departments and disciplines, from fundraising and launching of new programs and centers to forging several key partnerships with major players in the Las Vegas community.

Prior to UNLV, as Dean of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, Jessup oversaw that college’s rise in undergraduate and graduate rankings and led the drive for more partnerships, online opportunities, and new programming resulting in Eller’s transformation into a more self-sustained business school.

“I’ve enjoyed many opportunities in my career, both as a professor and administrator, and I am honored and excited to join the CGU community,” Jessup said. “I am looking forward to working closely with everyone at CGU to move this excellent university to the next level in every way.”

UNLV’s Len Jessup has been named as the president of Claremont Graduate University. (R. Marsh Starks / UNLV Photo Services)

Born and raised in Northern California, Jessup is the first in his family to graduate from college. He has said that the sacrifices of his immigrant Italian grandparents inspired him to create a meaningful career in higher education that would make a difference in people’s lives.

“I’ve always been driven by a desire to give something back,” he said, “to pay back my ancestors who by immigrating to the United States made great sacrifices for future generations of grandchildren they didn’t yet have.”

Jessup holds a doctorate in Management and Organizational Behavior from the University of Arizona, Tucson, with a minor in Management Information Systems.   He also holds an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Studies, both from California State University, Chico.

The author of numerous scholarly articles and books, Jessup examines the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and the evolving nature of information technology in his scholarship. That interest in information technology first established his familiarity with CGU back in the late 1980s through his contact with Paul Gray, the founder of the university’s Information Systems and Technology program, and the current director, Lorne Olfman.

“I already knew about this university in my student days through Paul and Lorne,” he said. “I truly believe there are some great opportunities here as we look ahead to our centennial. This is an exciting time for us.”