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Foster continued

Foster’s new job will herald a homecoming of sorts. She grew up in Verona, about 60 miles northeast of TCNJ. New Jersey, she says, “was the only fishbowl I knew for the first 18 years of my life.” As a peripatetic adult, her Garden State bona fides did not go unnoticed. “People say, ‘You’re not from here,’” Foster recalls. “I say, ‘I’m from New Jersey,’ and they say, ‘Well, that explains everything.’ I think they mean I walk fast, I talk fast. There’s a directness to the way I come at the world.”

Still, Foster knows when humility is required: She’s been to seven Bruce Springsteen concerts — “I realize that puts me in deep amateur status.”

At Farmington, Foster often invoked her training in urban planning. She oversaw the creation of a strategic plan for the university, a master plan for campus buildings and grounds, and plans for fundraising, student recruitment, and marketing. She is also credited with stemming a downward slide in enrollment, which Foster says had been in “free fall” for five years.

Foster says her first order of business at TCNJ will be to take a listening tour of the campus community — from students to faculty to alumni — something she also did at Farmington. “The getting-to-know-you phase isn’t just a check-the-box phase,” Foster says. “It enables me to become the president that the school deserves.”

And what does she want the TCNJ community to know about her? “I want them to know I am approachable,” she says. “There’s a down-to-earthness about me.”


—Christopher Hann

In high gear (from top) Foster her junior year at Johns Hopkins. Perfecting her golf game while at University at Buffalo. With her Swazi “mom” in 1989.

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