61 William Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Since Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., took office as the tenth president of Becker College in 2010, he has charged the institution with a bold, entrepreneurial mission; led the creation of groundbreaking academic programs; realized significant capital projects; and strengthened the institution’s financial foundation. He believes in higher education as a public good, and has dedicated his more-than-25-year career to transforming the lives of young people. Challenging students to build upon the three pillars of global citizenship—academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—he encourages them to embrace the opportunities inherent in a rapidly changing future and an increasingly global society. He believes today’s graduates must be divergent thinkers with social and emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial outlooks.
Becker College traces its history to 1784, making it among the nation’s oldest educational institutions, with a founding charter signed by American Revolutionaries John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Today, Becker enrolls more than 2,100 students at two campuses in Central Massachusetts. Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, the College has been named one of the “best institutions for undergraduate education” by The Princeton Review for four consecutive years. The College’s game design program, named the 5th best undergraduate program in the world by The Princeton Review, has been top-ranked for seven consecutive years—the only institution on the East Coast and one of four worldwide to maintain this longstanding distinction.
In Dr. Johnson’s second year as president, Becker was designated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as home to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), a state-sponsored, public-private partnership that connects the state’s digital games industry, government, and academic resources to promote job growth and entrepreneurship. In 2011, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick appointed Dr. Johnson to the board of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a state agency that promotes technology sector growth through partnerships between industry, academia, and state government. In 2015, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker described Becker as: “an example of growth in the ‘creative economy’ . . . one of the country’s leading research and educational institutions for computer gaming.” (Worcester Business Journal, April 10, 2015.)
As a participant in the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory, the College developed a global engagement strategy and established global citizenship as a key attribute of a Becker education. In 2015, the College was designated as the first Yunus Social Business Centre in the US. The Yunus Social Business Centre @ Becker College provides opportunities for individuals to solve world problems by creating self-sustaining business solutions that have social impact. In 2016, Becker College became the first college or university in the country to mandate a 100% impact strategy across its entire endowment, where by June 30, 2017, 100% of its portfolio will be invested in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) assets with a HIP (Human Impact + Profits) rating of greater than 50% on a scale of 0-100.
Dr. Johnson was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in 2015. He is a member of the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan policy organization of chief executives, university presidents, and labor leaders, and serves on the boards of a number of state and local organizations. As a speaker, he has addressed numerous organizations across the country on topics including higher education, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, strategic planning, personal brand, diversity, and volunteerism.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Touro University International, formerly a division of Touro College, New York; a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Cincinnati; and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse College. Prior to becoming Becker College’s president, Dr. Johnson served as senior vice president of Sinclair Community College, in Dayton, Ohio; vice president of enrollment management at the University of Dayton; vice provost at Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan; and executive director of enrollment management at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He is married to Michelle Jones-Johnson. They have two children, Jasmine and Alex.
For media inquiries and to schedule an interview with President Johnson, please contact:
Interactive Media Communications Director
Chief of Staff
Follow Dr. Johnson online at the Huffington Post and on Twitter @BeckerPrez. He curates the Flipboard magazine, Educating for the Agile Mindset, as @drrobertjohnson (see below).