Chancellor Emeritus

Purdue University Northwest

Executive Director & Senior Associate • (219) 218-0212


Dr. Cohen

Howard Cohen is Chancellor Emeritus at Purdue University Northwest (formerly, Purdue University Calumet). He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota (1966) and a masters and doctorate degree from Harvard University (1970/1971). He has held academic and administrative appointments at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Dr. Cohen was Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest for 10 years and Interim President at SUNY Buffalo State in 2014.

Dr. Cohen is Executive Director and Senior Associate in the AASCU Penson Center for Professional Development, a consulting group that works primarily with public regional universities. His areas of consultation include strategic and academic planning, department chair leadership, leadership team development and executive coaching.

Dr. Cohen’s teaching and research interests are focused in the areas of social philosophy and ethics. He addresses questions related to the obligations of those in positions of authority who make decisions for others. He is the author of two books (Equal Rights for Children and Power and Restraint: The Moral Dimensions of Police Work [with Michael Feldberg]) and numerous journal articles, as well as “Ethics for Presidents” in Public Purpose magazine. Recently, Dr. Cohen has been developing serious games for the classroom. Dr. Cohen also lectures on leadership, American higher education, and ethics for engineers.

Dr. Cohen has traveled and lectured in China, where he has held honorary professorships at Central South University in Changsha, Guangdong University of Technology in Guangzhou and North China Electric Power University in Beijing. He has consulted with Bayan College in Muscat, Oman.

Dr. Cohen has held board appointments in numerous organizations in Northwest Indiana, including the Northwest Indiana Forum, the Regional Development Authority, the Purdue Northwest Indiana Technology Center, the Hammond Academy of Science and Technology and the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication. He is also an Innovation Fellow in the Society of Innovators.


Strategic Planning, Department Chair Leadership Development, Executive Development, Academic Planning for provosts and deans

Service Highlights

  • Chair, Professional Development Committee, American Association of State College and University (AASCU)
  • Member, AASCU Council of State Representatives
  • Member, AASCU Policies and Practices Committee
  • Treasurer, Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority
  • Chair, Northwest Indiana Forum Education Committee
  • Board member, Northwest Indiana Forum
  • Board member and chair, Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana
  • Board of Directors, Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Lake County Boys and Girls Club
  • Board of Directors, Legacy Foundation
  • Advisory Board, Purdue Institute for Civic Communication
  • Board of Directors, Hammond Academy of Science and Technology
  • Indiana Bicentennial Commission


  • Businessperson of the Year, Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
  • Experiential Education Higher Education Leader of the Year (2007), National Society of Experiential Education
  • Honorary professor at Central South University, Changsha, China
  • Honorary professor at North China Electric Power University, Beijing, China
  • Distinguished Hoosier, by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels
  • Innovation Fellow, Society of Innovators


  • Ph.D., M.A., Harvard University
    B.A., University of Minnesota