May 9, 2022 – Williamsport, PA-based higher education executive search firm RPA Inc. has assisted in the recruitment of Charles E. Patterson as the 18th president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He succeeds Laurie Carter who departed last summer to become president of Lawrence University in Wisconsin. “As interim president of Shippensburg University and former president of Mansfield University, Dr. Patterson has demonstrated that he is the right person to lead the university forward,” said Cindy Shapira, board chair. “We believe his commitment to working with students, faculty, and staff will help guide Shippensburg on its mission to provide an affordable and high-quality education. We are confident in our choice of Dr. Patterson to continue the great work that’s happening at Shippensburg.”
“Dr. Patterson has led Shippensburg for nearly a year with a strong commitment to student success and listening to all voices on campus,” said state system chancellor Dan Greenstein. “Shippensburg is an outstanding institution and with his remarkable experience as a university leader, Charles is a perfect match for the university. He has been a great partner at the State System, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”
Dr. Patterson brings nearly two decades of experience in university leadership to Shippensburg and a record of growth and institutional transformation. As interim president he prioritized transparency, engagement, and collaboration.
“On behalf of the council of trustees, I express congratulations to president Patterson and first lady Colleen,” said Andrew Alosi, Shippensburg University council of trustees chair. “We welcome them to the Shippensburg University community. As we look to the future, we embrace the opportunity that is before us and will continue to work hard for the success of our students and expand the impact this institution has on our Shippensburg community, the region, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond.”
Dr. Patterson has been serving as interim president since June 30, 2021, and was previously president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, a state system university in Tioga County, beginning in July 2019. Under his leadership, Mansfield University implemented strategic priorities resulting in increased enrollment and student retention. Before leading Mansfield, Dr. Patterson served as senior advisor for outreach at the U.S. Department of Education’s office of federal student aid. In 2003, he began his higher education career as assistant director for sponsored programs at Baylor University. 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. Next, Dr. Patterson was appointed interim president of Georgia Southwestern State University, a position he held for more than two years before joining the U.S. Department of Education.
“I am honored to be selected to serve Shippensburg University as its 18th president,” said Dr. Patterson. “I continue to be inspired by the important scholarly work of our Ship students and faculty. I look forward to working collaboratively with our many stakeholders, partners, and friends of the university to ensure Ship is recognized as the flagship institution it deserves to be.”
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is a public university in Shippensburg, PA. It is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Founded in 1871, it later became the first teachers college in Pennsylvania. RPA also placed Ms. Carter as the president of the university in 2017.
RPA is an executive recruitment and consulting firm focused on higher education institutions and non-profit organizations. Richard Allen founded the firm in 1988 with the mission of assisting institutions of higher education in recruiting senior personnel and in enhancing capacity to raise philanthropic income. RPA has placed senior leaders at SUNY Empire State College, University of Mobile, Springfield College, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Thomas Nelson Community College and Thomas Nelson Community College, among others.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media