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Dr. Charles Patterson selected to serve as interim president of Shippensburg University

Patterson will serve as interim when current president Laurie A. Carter departs this summer to assume the presidency of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Credit: PASSHE

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education announced Thursday that Dr. Charles Patterson has been selected to serve as interim president of Shippensburg University.

Patterson has served as president of Mansfield University since July 2019, the PASSHE said.

His selection was part of a collaborative effort by the Shippensburg University Board of Trustees, State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein, and the Board of Governors. 

“Dr. Patterson has built an exemplary resume of accomplishments and transparent leadership, fully understands the goals and objectives of System Redesign and how to build on the foundation laid by President Carter and he is eager to be at Shippensburg University,” said L. Michael Ross, chair of the Council of Trustees.  

Before his tenure at Mansfield, Patterson served as senior advisor for outreach at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, beginning in August 2017. 

During Patterson's time at Mansfield, the university ended a nine-year decline by achieving consecutive enrollment increases while also increasing first-year retention from 73 percent to 78.1 percent. Patterson established campus shared governance and effective organizational models that brought together various constituencies to work toward university strategies and achievement, the Board said. 

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. 

He then became interim president of Georgia Southwestern State University in January 2015, a position he served in for two years before joining the U.S. Department of Education. 

Patterson earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular bioscience from University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in 2002. He graduated in 1993 from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. 

“Given the current challenges facing PASSHE, having the right person at the helm of Shippensburg University has never been as important, and I and the Council of Trustees am confident that we have the right person at the right time,” said Ross.  

Patterson will serve as interim when Laurie A. Carter, 17th president of Shippensburg University, departs this summer to assume the presidency of Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin.

Patterson will take office on July 1.   

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