Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors today named Dr. George F. "Jody" Harpster to serve as interim president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania effective May 31. Dr. Harpster is the university’s executive vice president for external affairs and government relations. He also served as Shippensburg’s interim president from June 2005 to February 2007.
Current Shippensburg University President Dr. William N. Ruud will leave the position at the end of May to become the next president of the University of Northern Iowa. A national search will be conducted for a permanent replacement.
Dr. Harpster was named to his current position after serving for nearly 21 months as Shippensburg’s interim president. Previously, he was the university’s vice president for student affairs beginning in 1995.
Before coming to Shippensburg, Dr. Harpster spent more than a decade at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he served as director of student life, dean of students and assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. He began his academic career in student affairs while attending Shippensburg University as a graduate student from 1972 to 1974.
Dr. Harpster holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Juniata College, a Master of Science degree in counseling and college student personnel administration from Shippensburg, and a Ph.D. in adult and higher education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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. About 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 and the Philadelphia Multi University Center in Philadelphia.