About the President

A Biography of Joe Bertolino, Ed.D., President

Joe Bertolino, Ed.D., was named the sixth President of Stockton University on March 3, 2023.

President Joe, as he is affectionately known, has been a social justice educator for almost 30 years and is passionate about student success and access to higher education.

Since 2016, Dr. Bertolino has led Southern Connecticut State University, a public institution of 9,000 students in New Haven, Connecticut. There, he has pursued several key priorities, including: raising the university’s profile; establishing Southern as Connecticut’s public university for social justice; expanding community outreach and partnerships, building strategic enrollment and streamlining students’ paths to earning a degree.


Dr. Bertolino holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration & Leadership Development from Columbia University; a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University, Camden; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Sociology from the University of Scranton.


Prior to joining Southern in 2016, Dr. Bertolino was President of Lyndon State College in Vermont from 2012-2016. From 2004-2012, he held multiple roles at Queens College/City University of New York, including Vice President for Enrollment Management, Vice President for Student Affairs, Executive Assistant to the President and Chair of the Department of Student Personnel.

He also held the roles of Dean for Community Development, Academic Advisor and Associate Dean for Residential Life at Barnard College in New York from 1996-2004. Dr. Bertolino has taught leadership development classes for undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Bertolino has been recognized with numerous outstanding professional awards. He is a member of seven different national honor societies including Omicron Delta Kappa and Golden Key. The American College Personnel Association presented him with the prestigious Annuit Coeptis Award twice as an outstanding new professional and as an outstanding senior professional.


Dr. Bertolino’s major initiatives at Southern include a branding campaign that reintroduced the Southern to the region and beyond; the school’s first comprehensive enrollment management plan and the creation of a range of workforce needs-driven degree programs, including a palate of accelerated graduate offerings and the first Doctorate of Social Work program in New England. Additionally, Dr. Bertolino developed partnerships with area community colleges to provide smoother entry into a four-year institution and initiated new community partnerships at multiple levels to establish Southern as a good neighbor. 

Examples include establishing a residency by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the Long Wharf Theater at Southern, featuring on-campus concerts, classroom visits, hands-on learning experiences, and internships. The Barack H. Obama Magnet University School opened at Southern – the result of a signature academic partnership with the New Haven Public School System that will provide expansive experiential learning opportunities for Southern’s teachers-in-training. Southern also entered into a multi-million-dollar partnership with the Yale New Haven Health System that will see the School of Nursing double the number of its nursing majors by 2026, helping to address a critical nursing shortage in Connecticut heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under President Bertolino’s stewardship, alumni philanthropy and engagement at Southern expanded dramatically, with record philanthropy levels established in each of the last three annual Days of Caring.

Dr. Bertolino lives with his partner of almost 30 years, Bil Leipold, Ed.D., and their dogs. Together, Joe and Bil have 12 godchildren and two grandsons.