61 William Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Since Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., took office as the tenth president of Becker College in July 2010, this charismatic leader has charged the institution with a bold, entrepreneurial mission; led the creation of groundbreaking academic programs; realized significant capital projects; strengthened the institution’s financial foundation; and challenged students and faculty to compete in an increasingly global society. He believes today’s graduates must have an entrepreneurial mindset and be divergent thinkers with strong emotional intelligence skills.
Becker College traces its history to 1784, making it one of the nation’s top-25 oldest institutions in higher education, with a founding charter signed by American Revolutionaries John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Today, Becker enrolls more than 2,000 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 three consecutive years. The College’s game design program was named the 9th best undergraduate program in the world by The Princeton Review and has been top-ranked for six 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 fast-growing 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).
By 2014, as a participant of the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory, the College had 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 will provide opportunities for students to solve real-world problems by creating self-sustaining businesses that have social impact.
Dr. Johnson believes in higher education as a public good, and has dedicated his more-than-25-year career to transforming the lives of young people while preparing them to realize their dreams. A collaborative leader and inspiring speaker, he challenges students to build upon the three pillars of global citizenship—academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression—and prepare to compete in a rapidly changing future.
Dr. Johnson 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. He has addressed corporations, organizations, and institutions on the topics of 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 Trident University International (formerly Touro University International), 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:
Associate Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs
Special Assistant to the President
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).