University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson, was elected as the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors at the association’s annual conference in Carlsbad, CA.

UMES President Heidi M. Anderson

Anderson, who has more than 30 years of higher education experience, has served on the AASCU Board of Directors since 2020 and chairs AASCU’s Council of State Representatives.

“I am both honored and eager to collaborate with our AASCU campuses in pursuit of innovative actions and strategies that will enhance new majority student success,” Anderson said. “As a catalyst for our conversations, my theme for the year and for the 2023 annual conference is ‘AASCU Leading for Democracy: Rebuild, Restore, Reframe.’

“At this significant time in our history as educators, I look forward to conversations exploring transformations consistent with the AASCU mission and vision.”

Under her leadership, UMES developed strategic initiatives that are improving enrollment and retention. 

UMES has increased its six-year graduation rate to a level higher than in the past 20 years, and the university has experienced record-breaking research funding and philanthropic efforts. 

Anderson has completed construction of a $95 million academic building for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. UMES has received the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute award to support STEM education and career readiness.

“(Dr.) Anderson has dedicated her career to expanding access and opportunity for students from underserved populations, and as a first-generation college graduate, she knows firsthand the transformative power of postsecondary education,” said AASCU president Mildred García.  “We know that she will bring that lifelong dedication to this role, particularly as higher education grapples with declining enrollments, the impact of the global pandemic on our campuses, and threats to our democracy.”

Anderson is a proud graduate of AASCU’s Executive Leadership Academy and AASCU’s Academy for New Provosts.  She earned a B.S. in pharmacy, M.S. in education, and a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration all from Purdue University, in her home state of Indiana.

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