​HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today selected Dr. Charles Patterson to serve as interim president of Shippensburg University, starting June 30, 2021.

Patterson is president of Mansfield University, a State System university in Tioga County, and has served in that role since July 2019. Before leading Mansfield, Patterson served as senior advisor for outreach at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid from August 2017 until he arrived at Mansfield.

“Dr. Patterson is the kind of passionate leader students and faculty at Shippensburg and throughout the System can believe in,” Board chair Cindy Shapira said. “His ability to listen and relate to every member of a campus community is second to none, and we’re confident he’s the right person to continue the great work that’s happening at Shippensburg.”

Patterson brings to Shippensburg a record of growth and transformation. While leading Mansfield, the university has ended a nine-year decline by achieving consecutive enrollment increases while also increasing first-year retention from 73 percent to 78.1 percent, even during the pandemic. Patterson established campus shared governance and effective organizational models that are bringing together various constituencies to work toward university strategies and achievement.

He succeeds President Laurie Carter, who has been named the next president of Lawrence University in Wisconsin.

Patterson began his higher education career as assistant director for sponsored programs at Baylor University in 2003. Six years later, he joined Georgia Southern University as chair and vice president for research and economic development of the university’s Research and Service Foundation, Inc. Patterson then became interim president of Georgia Southwestern State University in January 2015, a position he served in for more than two years before joining the U.S. Department of Education.

He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular bioscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 2002. He graduated in 1993 from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry.

“Charles’s perspective, expertise, and voice has been invaluable to all of us as he’s led Mansfield through a time of transition and transformation,” Chancellor Dan Greenstein said. “He's proven himself to be a student-focused president who also welcomes a diverse range of opinions and thought-leaders from all corners of a campus.”

Mike Ross, chair of the Shippensburg Council of Trustees, welcomed Dr. Patterson’s appointment.

"Our trustees have been working collaboratively with Chancellor Greenstein and the Board of Governors to ensure a seamless presidential transition so as to continue the University’s sustainability and system redesign efforts initiated by President Carter,” Ross said. “Dr. Patterson has built an exemplary resumé of accomplishments and transparent leadership, fully understands the goals and objectives of State System redesign and how to build on the foundation laid by President Carter, and he is eager to be at Shippensburg University. Given the current challenges facing the State System, having the right person at the helm of Shippensburg University has never been as important, and I and the Council of Trustees are confident that we have the right person at the right time.”  

Shippensburg University will begin plans to undertake the presidential appointment process in the fall, when students, faculty and staff return to campus.  

Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education oversees 14 four-year public universities educating more than 93,000 students. The State System offers more than 2,300 degrees and certificates in more than 530 academic areas. The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester universities of Pennsylvania.

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