Stephen Spinelli Jr. to Become Chancellor Emeritus

Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., PhD, has announced he will transition to the role of Chancellor Emeritus—the first time this title has been given in the University’s history. The move will be effective as of June 30, 2018.

“The merger of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University was an historical event for both institutions,” he said. “Two vital schools looked into the future and decided they could deliver better education together. A rapidly changing social and economic environment requires new solutions. I am proud to say that the new Jefferson is a bold leader in shaping those solutions and creating a better world.

“With the merger complete, organization reshaped, brand architecture in place, marketing program launched and strategic plan finalized all ahead of schedule, I have decided that the time is right to make this transition,” Spinelli said.

He called his 11 years on campus as president and chancellor deeply fulfilling and said Jefferson President and CEO Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, and the Jefferson Academic Board will intensely steward the historical strengths of the legacy institutions.

“They will take our distinctive University for professional education to the proverbial next level, leveraging 328 years of experience, a world-class strategy and a forward-looking education model,” said Spinelli, noting the Philadelphia University Honors Institute at Jefferson will be a beacon of great scholarship long into the future.

“I am grateful to Chancellor Stephen Spinelli Jr., PhD, for his vision, wisdom and guts to take the bold steps to ensure a stronger future for our two legacy institutions, our students, faculty and staff, and our alumni,” Klasko said.

Klasko applauded Spinelli’s aggressive strategic planning process that resulted in the:

  • establishment of the unique and award-winning Nexus Learning pedagogy
  • founding of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
  • tremendous growth in graduate, CPS and online education
  • national and international program rankings
  • blending of curricular and co-curricular initiatives
  • growth of health and science programs
  • strongest financial picture, highest enrollment and largest amount of funds raised in the history of the University
  • 96 percent job and graduate school success rate
  • merger of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University

“President Klasko and I will work together during my transition to ensure that we maintain the momentum on our two main campuses, invest in our legacy programs and continue to develop the unique global education ecosystem we have begun,” Spinelli said. “Dr. Klasko is committed to growing the East Falls and Center City campuses and fulfilling the bold reimagining of university education and research that is embodied in our strategic plan.”

Klasko said he’s excited about what lies ahead for the University. “Working together, we will build our programs in architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion, health, humanities, medicine, science and textiles,” he said. “We will reimagine higher education and redefine humanly possible for the benefit of students, alumni, patients and employers.”

As Chancellor Emeritus, Spinelli will continue to write, speak and lecture on the future of education and the future of work.

“I am passionate about going out in my role as Chancellor Emeritus to tell the world about the work we are doing at Jefferson to transform higher education, enhance the value proposition for students and their families, and redefine what’s humanly possible,” he said.

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