Harrisburg – Brigadier General Francis L. Hendricks, who served for five years as commander and deputy commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas, Texas, was selected Wednesday by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to be the next president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Gen. Hendricks, who completed his undergraduate studies at then-Mansfield State College in 1979 before beginning his military career, was selected at the conclusion of a national search and will assume his new duties January 1. He will succeed Dr. Allan J. Golden, who has served as interim president of the university for the last year.
“Gen. Hendricks is a proven leader with an outstanding record of success throughout a distinguished career,” said Board of Governors Chair Guido M. Pichini. “We are confident he will continue to demonstrate that leadership and success as president of Mansfield University.”
As commander and chief executive officer of the Army and Air Force Exchange, Gen. Hendricks was in charge of the 42nd largest retailer in the United States, with $10 billion in annual revenue. He has extensive experience in organizational leadership, strategic planning, resource management and policy development.
“Gen. Hendricks has an extraordinary array of experiences that caused him to stand out among all of the candidates for the Mansfield presidency,” said PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh. “As an alumnus, he has a deep commitment to the university and will, I am certain, be a valuable addition to PASSHE’s outstanding cadre of presidents.”
Gen. Hendricks said he looks forward to leading Mansfield into a bright future.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by the Board of Governors’ and the chancellor’s selection,” Gen. Hendricks said. “Mansfield University is where I started my life’s journey of service and leadership development. I look forward to working with the great faculty and administrative team assembled at Mansfield. Working together, I am confident we will prepare MU students for the many opportunities and rewarding challenges that await each of them. I am H2S…Here to Serve.”
“Gen. Hendricks encompasses everything we were seeking in our next president,” said Ralph Meyer, chair of the Mansfield University Council of Trustees. “He presents an outstanding background, with a wide variety of leadership positions serving our country in the United States Air Force. He has the background, energy, leadership experience and presence that Mansfield University needs at this point in time.
“We are proud that Gen. Hendricks is a 1979 graduate of Mansfield University, and will be the only State System graduate leading one of the 14 PASSHE Universities. He will bring a wealth of unique experience, not only to Mansfield University, but also to the State System itself.”
Gen. Hendricks completed programs in political science and criminal justice administration at Mansfield. He also received a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science degree in strategic studies from the Air War College.
Gen. Hendricks has more than 30 years of military experience. Just prior to enrolling in the Air Force War College, he served as deputy to the support group commander at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. While in that role he chaired the Quality of Life Improvement Council and oversaw a partnership involving local colleges that helped develop off-duty education programs. He was then chosen among the top 10 percent of military leaders to participate in a graduate program at the War College.
Upon graduation from the War College, Gen. Hendricks was named support group commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, where he led 1,700 personnel in the planning and execution of an annual $69 million budget. He initiated an energy savings performance effort, which saved the base $2 million, and his environmental programs were rated the best in the Air Force.
Gen. Hendricks also has served as wing commander of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida; senior military assistant in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in the Pentagon; and study director of Sierra Bravo, Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency in Washington, D.C. He has taught the Air Force Incident Management (crisis management) course since 2002 and has served as senior leader panelist for the Air Force Wing Commander (senior executive) course, also since 2002, and as senior mentor for the Air Force Group Commander course since 2010.
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania opened as Mansfield Classical Seminary in 1857. It enrolls 3,155 students and offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, with about 115,000 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.