Dr. Heidi M. Anderson
Dr. Heidi M. Anderson was named the 16th president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) on September 1, 2018 following an extensive national search. President Anderson, herself a first generation college student, leads a campus focused on excellence in teaching, research, and community outreach. A collaborative servant leader, President Anderson is dedicated to student success with an emphasis on educational access and attainability. She wishes to honor those mentors in her own life whose guidance opened the doors for her own achievements.
A proud three-time graduate of Purdue University (a land-grant institution), Dr. Anderson holds a Ph.D. in pharmacy administration, a M.S. degree in education and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy. Her contributions to education and her community are immeasurable in adding points of pride for our Hawk family.
President Anderson possesses over two decades of leadership experience, which laid the groundwork for her success as President at UMES. Prior to joining UMES, President Anderson was Provost at Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she managed a $35 million budget and directed 22 academic departments, 10 centers and institutes and oversaw creation of new degrees in computer science, engineering and clinical mental health counseling. Other leadership positions before Texas include Provost at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia from 2013 to 2015; between 2006 and 2013, she held several positions at the University of Kentucky, including professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, assistant dean for educational innovation, associate provost for faculty affairs and vice president/associate provost for institutional effectiveness. Her classroom experience also includes work as a professor and chair of Auburn University’s Pharmacy Care System Department and as an assistant professor in the University of Tennessee’s College of Pharmacy. She was the first African American to serve as president the Accreditation Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), the national accrediting body for pharmacy programs nationwide, a role she held twice.
Since her appointment as president, Dr. Anderson has engaged the campus, an 1890s HBCU, in steady and measureable growth and transformation. UMES has been steadily rising in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, starting from #19 in 2018 to now #16. Under her leadership, the University has received significant funding from external sources including the $20m McKenzie Scott gift, a $30m NOAA grant in support of graduate education in fisheries and several individual estate gifts. Since 2020, sponsored research grants has increased by 33% as UMES saw record growth in overall fundraising totally $38m in her first four years.
In November 2022, UMES became the first HBCU to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Driving Change award for expansion of STEM education. This $2.5m grant will support the launch of the UMES STARS undergraduate STEM cohort. In addition, in fall 2022, UMES saw its largest incoming class since 2015, with a 5.5% enrollment increase along with the retention rate for first time, full time students rising 11%. These successes have caused UMES to be selected for national student initiatives sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and Princeton University.
President Anderson’s experienced leadership has improved and expanded the quality of academic programs at UMES while maintaining talent and fiscal resource management in support of the academic enterprise. Some recent accomplishments include the 2021 National Park Service campus building renovation award of $500,000 for Trigg Hall; the opening of the $92m Pharmacy and Health Professions complex in January 2023; the creation of new academic programs and the graduation of the first Physician Assistant class in December 2022. Additionally, campus improvement projects have focused on building maintenance, improved campus lighting, and new signage reflect the welcoming environment that is UMES.
In addition to raising the profile of UMES as a destination campus on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, President Anderson is a frequent and sought-after speaker in the community as well as nationally known leader in higher education. In 2019, she completed the Leadership Maryland hands-on learning program focused on the most significant social, economic, and environmental issues facing the Delmarva Peninsula.
In 2020 and 2021, President Anderson was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women and she also received Influential Marylander Award sponsored by the Daily Record honoring those who have made significant impacts on their community. In 2021, she was selected by the Del_Mar-Va Council as their Lower Shore Distinguished Citizen. Dr. Anderson was elected Chair of the AASCU Board of Directors in the fall 2022. She is also active as a board member for national Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU), and two additional regionally focused groups, the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce and the Rural Maryland Council.
President Anderson is an avid golfer and can be seen walking the beautiful UMES campus each evening, at ribbon cuttings and gallery openings as well as courtside cheering on Hawk athletes. Her daily goal is to support UMES students and welcome them to the Hawk Family for their educational journeys.