Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes Announces Retirement


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Contact: Angela Harrington
Office of the President
973-278-5400, ext. 1-1126





Berkeley College President Dario A. Cortes, PhD, has announced his plans to retire, effective June 30, 2015. Dr. Cortes, who has served as the President of Berkeley since July 2008, said he will remain with the College for at least one additional year to support the leadership transition and oversee special projects.

“My years at Berkeley have been among the most fulfilling of my career,” said Dr. Cortes, who informed the College on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, about his retirement.  “I am proud of all we have accomplished and I look forward to continuing to promote Berkeley and its student-centered mission in the final year of my presidency.” 

Kevin L. Luing, Chairman of the Berkeley College Board of Trustees, thanked Dr. Cortes for his commitment to Berkeley and his many accomplishments. “We appreciate Dr. Cortes' hard work and dedication over the past six years. The College will continue to build on the foundation he established,” said Mr. Luing.  The Chairman added that the Board of Trustees has formed a Presidential Search Committee to administer the search for a new president.

During his tenure at Berkeley Dr. Cortes led the College through a period of reorganization and expansion. Among his accomplishments are the creation of four schools to align academic programs with additional Bachelor’s and Associates degrees and Certificate offerings, including the Larry L. Luing School of Business; the School of Health Studies; the School of Professional Studies and the School of Liberal Arts; the establishment of the Offices of Compliance, Public Safety, Communications and External Relations, and Financial Literacy; the growth of international student enrollment; and the development of two strategic plans.  Dr. Cortes also presided over the increase and diversification of student services in areas such as Academic Advisement, Honors programs, Military and Veterans Affairs, and Athletics.

Berkeley College also expanded geographically during Dr. Cortes’ presidency. New locations include Brooklyn, NY; and Clifton and Dover, NJ, following a merger with Dover Business College. Dr. Cortes was also involved in the design and construction of the new Renaissance Hall at the Woodland Park, NJ, campus. The $9 million facility, a modern hub for student services and classroom instruction opened in July 2014.

To help address the financial demands facing students, Dr. Cortes also focused efforts on increasing the College’s Institutional Aid program, with $45 million in grant funding and scholarships available, including a special scholarship established for community college graduates and transfer students. The success of Dr. Cortes’ community college enrollment and tuition assistance model is underscored by numerous articulation agreements with community colleges throughout New York and New Jersey.

Dr. Cortes is active in higher education organizations, including the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.  He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council and is a Commissioner of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a regional accrediting body. Dr. Cortes also serves as a board member of One to World, the American Council of Education, and recently joined the Board of the Latino Leadership Alliance. 

Prior to joining Berkeley College, Dr. Cortes held several senior-level administrative positions, including President and Executive Director of the American School Foundation, A.C. (ASF) in Mexico City. He was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fashion Institute of Technology, the State University of New York. In addition, Dr. Cortes served as Dean at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Cortes earned a Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; a Master’s degree from the University of Virginia; and a Bachelor’s degree from Queens College, City University of New York. He has completed post-graduate work at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 2008 he was named a Klingenstein Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Cortes is a distinguished scholar, lecturer and conference leader who has authored two books on Latin American literature.

A leader in providing career-focused education for more than 80 years, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students – including more than 900 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. The College has six New Jersey locations – Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, Newark, Clifton and Dover. In New York there are three locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® also offers full degree programs. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields. The website address is

 Dario A. Cortes, PhD, President of Berkeley College

Photo Caption: Dario A. Cortes, PhD, President of Berkeley College, has announced his plans to retire, effective June 30, 2015.  Dr. Cortes has served as Berkeley College President since 2008.

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