person smiling at camera wearing a suit and tie.

President Matthew Shaftel

After a national search, Dr. Matthew Shaftel was named the 11th president of Russell Sage College and began his presidency on July 1, 2024.

Before coming to Russell Sage, Shaftel served for seven years as dean and full professor in Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts.

He has served as a higher education leader for nearly two decades, also as an associate vice president at Florida State University and dean and executive of the Princeton campus at Rider University. 

While at Ohio University, he cultivated philanthropic support and spearheaded a transformational $94 million college facilities project. At the same time, he worked collaboratively with faculty to reimagine the college with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, growing enrollment significantly, improving student outcomes, and raising the profile of both the college and the institution.

While at Florida State, he led the development of a signature general education program and helped move the university to the highest U.S. News & World Report ranking in university history (currently No. 23 among public universities).

Shaftel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Master of Philosophy in Music Theory, and Ph.D. in Music Theory from Yale University and has been highly active as a scholar, publishing numerous articles and books, including two national award-winning volumes published by Oxford University Press and University of Illinois Press. Recognized for his excellence in teaching, he has received three university-wide teaching awards, including a distinguished professor award, and was a finalist for two national accolades. He has served on many not-for-profit boards and developed two award-winning centers for community engagement.

Shaftel is joined at the college by his wife, Dr. Jen Murphy, who serves as the executive director of the undergraduate division at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Murphy brings over 23 years of higher education experience and is excited to support Russell Sage’s vibrant community. Between them, they have five (almost) adult children: Veronique, Alexandre, Genevieve, Kieran, and Quinn.

About Dr. Jen Murphy

Jen serves as the executive director of the Undergraduate Division at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In her current role, Jen primarily focuses on building and implementing student success initiatives to radically impact the student experience. With enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial mindset, she is a driven leader, motivated to find creative and innovative solutions, all while building and developing people and teams. 

Jen brings more than 20 years of higher education experience at various institutions and business schools: Indiana University, Arizona State, American University, and Ohio University. Jen is a global speaker, published author, and researcher of women leaders in higher education. She also serves as an MBA career consultant at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. and regularly speaks, trains, and consults for universities.

She earned a BA in Communications at Purdue University, an MS in Counseling, and an Ed.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in Higher Education Management.

Favorite Quote:
“When will there be enough women on the court? When there are nine.” — RBG