Office of the President : Past Presidents

President Schmotter Biography

About President Schmotter

James W. Schmotter became president of Western Connecticut State University on Aug. 1, 2004. During his tenure Western has solidified its place as the home of high quality professional programs on a strong arts and sciences foundation, as the “hometown” university of the Western Connecticut region, and as the preeminent public university of the fine arts in Connecticut.  The last of these characteristics is evident in the construction of Western’s new $97 million Visual and Performing Arts Center, which will open in 2014. During his tenure, WCSU’s enrollment has grown by 19% and more than $150 million in capital development projects have taken place on its two campuses.

Schmotter came to Western from Western Michigan University, where he served as dean of the Haworth College of Business for seven years. Prior to that, he served as Dean of the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. In his 14 years at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, he served as associate dean and director of international studies, as well as teaching business history and international management.

Schmotter earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Muskingum College in Ohio. He received his doctorate in Colonial American history at Northwestern University where he studied the evolution of the ministry in 18th-century New England. He also studied higher education administration at Columbia University.

Schmotter has consulted for a variety of organizations, including IBM, TRW, the Institute for International Education, the Cleveland Foundation, the Graduate Management Admission Council, the Educational Testing Service, United States Agency for International Development and a number of universities in the U.S., Asia and Europe. He is the author of numerous monographs, chapters, and articles in popular and scholarly publications on international business, business education, and business history, as well as several guidebooks to MBA programs. He has been frequently quoted in the press, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Danbury News-Times and the Connecticut Mirror.

Schmotter has been active in local community groups in the towns he has served, including in Danbury. He currently serves as Chair of the United Way of Western Connecticut, as a director of Ethan Allen Interiors, the Connecticut Campus Compact, and the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce as well as a corporator of the Savings Bank of Danbury. He is also past president of the Little East Athletic Conference and past chair of the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Council and is a former member of the NCAA Executive Committee.