Anthony Jenkins Appointed President of Coppin State University

First-Generation College Graduate, U.S. Army Veteran, Jenkins Has Served Since 2016 as President of West Virginia State University
Anthony Jenkins Appointed CSU President
Baltimore, Md. (Dec. 2, 2019) – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert L. Caret today announced the appointment of Anthony Jenkins, Ph.D., as president of Coppin State University. Jenkins since July 2016 has served as president of West Virginia State University (WVSU), a historically black land-grant research university near Charleston, W.V., founded in 1891 with 3,692 enrolled students.

As president, Jenkins has engaged the WVSU community in a visionary plan to advance the campus as a premier regional research university recognized nationally for its innovative teaching, quality education and experiential learning.

Under President Jenkins’ leadership, WVSU has experienced enrollment growth at both the undergraduate, graduate and online levels. Jenkins fostered growth in these areas through the development of the university’s first nursing and engineering programs, a comprehensive enrollment management plan, the “WVSU Loyalty Program” and the “Straight 2 STATE” program. Both programs are the first of their kind in West Virginia and promote partnerships with state high schools and community and technical colleges. He also created the “Yellow Jacket Bridge to Success” Program and the “Registration Celebration” initiatives resulting in the university’s highest retention rate in five years.

Jenkins’ leadership at WVSU has also reflected a commitment to expanding the institution’s research portfolio, which has resulted in millions annually in federal and state grant funding. In addition, the university completed a $10 million renovation—creating its first Integrated Research and Extension Building—and over $1.3 million in structural and technological upgrades across campus.  

Jenkins’ appointment is effective on May 26, 2020.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jenkins as president of Coppin State University,” said USM Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden. “He has demonstrated a clear track record of success on the West Virginia State campus—especially impressive are the global partnerships he has established with higher education institutions in areas such as Africa, Mexico, and the People’s Republic of China. The USM board is delighted to have such an accomplished leader to guide Coppin. This appointment is a critical one, not just for the University System of Maryland but for the greater Baltimore region and beyond. Coppin State University is a vital institution in the City of Baltimore and our state.”

Coppin State, a historically black university, is an urban liberal arts campus anchored in northwest Baltimore. Founded in 1900, Coppin State offers 33 majors and 12 graduate degree programs with courses in nursing, business, teacher education, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Jenkins will succeed interim President Mickey Burnim, who has been leading the institution since former Coppin State president Maria Thompson ended her service to the university on June 30. Appointed to the presidency in 2015, Thompson announced in January 2019 that she would retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

“I am honored that the University System of Maryland Board of Regents has appointed me to be the next president of Coppin State University,” Jenkins said. “This is an exciting opportunity to guide a university with a strong legacy and do so at an important time for the City of Baltimore, where Coppin is so integral to the city’s continued vibrancy and success.”

President Jenkins began his path to higher education first as a United States Army veteran and first-generation college graduate of Fayetteville State University. He earned a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University and a doctorate from Virginia Tech University. His higher education administrative experience includes service at institutions such as UNC-Wilmington, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Central Florida.

“I have been truly impressed with Dr. Jenkins’ performance in maintaining strong enrollment growth at West Virginia State University and a number of prestigious academic rankings that have occurred during his presidency. These accomplishments bode quite well and they promise to advance an urban, historically black institution like Coppin,” USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret said.

“I would like want to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to the presidential search-and-screen committee,” Caret continued. “Under the skilled direction of former regent Katrina Dennis, whom very sadly we lost in September to a long illness, and her successor and fellow regent Robert Wallace—also Mary Owens-Southall, Coppin’s Dean of Graduate Studies—this group of faculty, staff, students, and community representatives worked with great purpose to identify a pool of highly accomplished applicants from which Dr. Jenkins established himself as an excellent choice.

“Again, I extend my appreciation to Interim President Mickey Burnim, who has followed his distinguished career as Bowie State University president with first-rate stewardship of Coppin State since July 1.”

To learn more about Coppin State University, visit

The University System of Maryland comprises 12 institutions:  Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; University of Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Maryland Eastern Shore; University of Maryland Global Campus; and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies. USM also includes three regional centers: Universities at Shady Grove, University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland, at which USM universities offer upper-division (undergraduate junior- and senior-levels) and graduate courses.

Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 176,000. USM and its institutions compete successfully for more than $1 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719