Harrisburg – The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education today selected new presidents for East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock Universities of Pennsylvania.
• Dr. Marcia G. Welsh, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Towson University, was selected to serve as East Stroudsburg University’s next president. She will succeed Dr. Robert J. Dillman, who will retire in June after 16 years as ESU president. Dr. Welsh will assume her new duties July 1.
• Dr. Cheryl Joy Norton, a senior fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C., and former president of Southern Connecticut State University, was selected to serve as Slippery Rock University’s next president. She will succeed Dr. Robert M. Smith, who retired in February. Dr. Norton will assume her new duties June 4.
“Dr. Welsh and Dr. Norton both have outstanding credentials and excellent records as academic leaders,” said Board of Governors Chair Guido M. Pichini. “We are confident they will provide that same level of leadership for East Stroudsburg and Slippery Rock universities respectively.”
PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh also offered praise for Dr. Welsh and Dr. Norton. “With their wide array of experience, I am certain both will be outstanding presidents,” he said. “They will be valuable additions to the State System and to the outstanding group of presidents already in place.”
Dr. Welsh was named provost of Towson University in 2009, and also served as interim president of the university in Maryland for nine months during 2011. As provost, she is responsible for oversight of academic programs in the university’s six undergraduate colleges, as well as of the Honors College and University Libraries.
She earned both her undergraduate degree in physical sciences and master’s degree in anatomy from Colorado State University, and her doctoral degree in anatomy from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She began her academic career in 1978 as an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She remained at USC for 23 years, rising through the ranks to full professor and also serving as chair of the Faculty Senate and acting chair of her department before being named associate provost and dean of the Graduate School.
She was named senior vice president for academic affairs and provost of Adelphi University in 2001, a position she held for seven years. She also spent a year at Adelphi as a professor and senior adviser for academic affairs.
Dr. Norton was named president of Southern Connecticut State in 2004 and served in the position for six years. She was the first woman president in the university’s 115-year history. Following her presidency, she completed a year-long sabbatical, researching how university teacher preparation programs could support public school education reform.
She grew up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated with honors from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation. There she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa academic honorary. Dr. Norton also holds three degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York; a Master of Arts in applied physiology and both a Master of Education and a Doctor of Education in applied physiology. She has completed additional studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Upon graduation from Denison University, Dr. Norton worked for nearly two years in the Psychiatric Recreational Therapy unit at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, including one year as director of the Recreational Therapy Department. She began working at Metropolitan State College of Denver in 1976 in the Department of Human Performance, Sport and Leisure Studies where she became a tenured professor. Dr. Norton was named department chair in 1992, interim associate dean of the School of Professional Studies in 1996 and provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1997.
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1893 as the last of the normal schools to be established in the Commonwealth. It enrolls nearly 7,400 students and offers 59 bachelor’s degree programs, one associate’s degree program and 22 master’s degree programs, as well as a doctoral program in educational leadership and administration in partnership with Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1889 as Slippery Rock Normal School. It enrolls more than 8,700 students and offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs including a doctorate in physical therapy.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with nearly 120,000 students. The 14 PASSHE universities offer degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 500,000 PASSHE alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
The state-owned universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. PASSHE also operates branch campuses in Clearfield, Freeport, Oil City and Punxsutawney and several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg.