Dr. Peter H. Garland assumed the role of acting Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) on March 1, 2013. The Chancellor is the chief executive officer of PASSHE. Appointed by the Board of Governors, the Chancellor is responsible to the Board for overall administration of the System.
Dr. Garland previously served as executive vice chancellor, a position to which he was appointed in October 2006. In that role, he served as PASSHE's chief operating officer, overseeing the major functional areas in the Office of the Chancellor; serving as liaison to university presidents and the System's Board of Governors; leading major System-wide projects, programs and initiatives; and coordinating the work of vice chancellors and other executive staff.
Dr. Garland joined PASSHE as executive associate to the Chancellor in January 2002, serving as a senior adviser and assisting the Chancellor in a liaison role with vice chancellors, university presidents, the Board of Governors and other senior staff. He was named vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in December 2003. He led the development of PASSHE’s new strategic plan, which was adopted by the Board of Governors in July 2004, and assisted in the implementation of PASSHE System Accountability Program.
Prior to joining PASSHE, Dr. Garland served as executive director of the State Board of Education since 1993. There, he was responsible for identifying key issues of concern to the Board, then conducting research and analysis on those issues and developing policy recommendations. In doing so, he worked closely with both the Governor’s Office and the Legislature, as well as with educational and business organizations and the public. He was involved in the development of new academic standards for elementary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania and in the creation of new requirements for teacher preparation and certification.
Previously, Dr. Garland was Assistant Commissioner for Postsecondary and Higher Education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He also served in several other positions within the department, including Acting Commissioner/Deputy Secretary for Postsecondary and Higher Education, Director of the Bureau of Postsecondary Services, Executive Assistant to the Commissioner for Higher Education and Senior Program Analyst in the Office of Higher Education Financing.
Dr. Garland spent two years as a research assistant in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University. He also was an assistant director and coordinator of residence hall programs at Penn State.
Dr. Garland earned bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology and a master’s degree in educational administration from The College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in political science and a doctoral degree in higher education from Penn State.
He has numerous publications to his credit and has reviewed articles for the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Association. He has lectured or offered seminars at a number of institutions, including East Stroudsburg and Shippensburg Universities of Pennsylvania, Penn State and Duquesne, Lehigh and New York universities.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education comprises 14 universities, four branch campuses and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg. With more than 115,000 students, PASSHE is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth.