President Search

Information on the search for Towson University’s 15th president.

The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents is conducting a national search for the 15th president of Towson University. In accordance with state law, the Board will select the president with input from USM Chancellor Jay Perman and a search committee representing TU stakeholders. Feedback from the campus community will be used to identify ideal candidate qualities and priorities, and to develop the leadership profile utilized in assessing candidates.

President Leadership Profile

A leadership profile has been developed for the next president of Towson University. All applications, inquiries and nominations should be submitted electronically and in confidence to Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm.

Search Process

The search process is following USM president search guidelines, beginning with input from campus stakeholders and culminating with the Board of Regents selecting TU's next president. 

  • Phase 1: Stakeholder Engagement & Preparation
    Convene search committee, gather feedback, develop leadership profile
  • Phase 2: Open Application Period & Candidate Screening 
    Nationwide recruitment and screening
  • Phase 3: Narrowing the Field
    Interviews and background checks
  • Phase 4: Recommending Finalists
    Search committee recommends finalists
    ; finalists interview with the Chancellor and Regents
  • Phase 5: Final Selection
    The Board makes final recommendation

Confidentiality is critical to attracting the highest-quality candidates in a president search. In accordance with USM guidelines, candidates' names will not be publicly disclosed during the search process. News and updates will be shared with the campus community as the search progresses.

Search Committee

The President Search and Screening Committee conducts the search for TU’s next president. Working in consultation with executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, the committee develops the leadership profile for the position, performs an extensive search for qualified candidates, reviews applications, interviews candidates and identifies finalists for the Regents’ consideration.

News & Updates

To the TU Community:

The TU President Search Committee will host a virtual Town Hall. During the Town Hall, the Committee will ask for input on key questions related to the President Search.

All students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to participate. Use the button below to access the virtual Town Hall.

TU President Search Town Hall
Thursday, March 9, 2023, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit for more information and to access the live stream. The USM Board of Regents also invites you to offer online input on the characteristics of a desirable candidate and university priorities.

As leaders of the shared governance bodies at TU, we are keenly interested in your thoughts on the qualities, characteristics and capabilities you would prioritize in the 15th president of our exceptional institution. The work of the search committee is already underway, and we encourage you to get involved today to ensure your voice is included.
Visit and click Offer Input today!
Jordan Colquitt, President, TU Student Government Association
Desirée Rowe, Chair, TU Academic Senate
Heather Sorensen, Chair, TU Staff Senate
Marcus Tuah, President, TU Graduate Student Association

To the TU Community:

I’m delighted to share that the USM Board of Regents has approved the members of the Towson University President Search and Screening Committee. The membership reflects a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members, shared governance representatives, and civic and business leaders in the greater Towson region. I know they’ll bring considerable knowledge and important perspectives to the task of selecting a president who can build on TU’s impressive record of excellence. I thank them for their willingness to take on this vital work.

The committee is chaired by USM Regent Ellen Fish, and the process will be coordinated by Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm. The committee will engage with the university community as it develops a short list of outstanding candidates for the TU presidency. That list will be forwarded to the Board of Regents and to me, and the board will make the final selection. 

As you’re aware, I’ll be hosting a town hall on Monday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the University Union Theater. We welcome those who wish to engage remotely; visit the President Search webpage for the link and instructions. I hope you’ll be able to join me—either in person or online—to share your thoughts on the priorities you want TU to pursue, and the qualities you’d like to see in the university’s next leader. 

I look forward to the work ahead, and to the ultimate outcome: A president who will position TU for even greater growth, prominence, and impact.


Jay A. Perman

Join USM Chancellor for TU President Search Town Hall

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman will host a Town Hall in the University Union Theater (UU324) on Monday, February 13, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend in person or virtually to ask questions about TU’s president search.

The Chancellor is eager to hear about the background and experience that the TU community wants in its next leader, as well as thoughts about the future vision and priorities for the institution.

To the TU Community:
When Dr. Kim Schatzel announced in November her intention to leave Towson University after seven years as president, I praised her transformational leadership and all that TU has accomplished under it. I have no doubt that the excellence Dr. Schatzel nurtured now positions TU to attract an equally strong successor. 
On behalf of the USM Board of Regents, I’ve launched the presidential search process. The search committee will be chaired by Regent Ellen Fish, who previously served on the TU Foundation Board of Directors. Executive search firm Isaacson, Miller will facilitate the search committee’s work, and Dr. Michele Masucci, USM vice chancellor for research, will be my liaison to the committee.
I invite you to nominate individuals to serve on the search committee, which will comprise a diverse group of TU students, staff, faculty, and alumni, together with community members and other stakeholders. Please send your nominations to by Friday, Jan. 20, and include a brief description of the person you’re nominating.
In the coming weeks, we’ll share details on how you can provide input into the search process, identifying for us the qualities you’d like to see in TU’s next president and the critical priorities you think that leader should pursue.
Selecting a dynamic, distinguished, and visionary president is essential to continuing TU’s extraordinary rise. I look forward to hearing from you as we undertake this vitally important work.
Jay A. Perman

To the TU Community:

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr. Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs, will serve as Towson University’s interim president as we search for a successor to Dr. Kim Schatzel. Provost Perreault assumes the role on Feb. 1.

Dr. Perreault has been central to TU’s growth and success over the past four years. More than half of her tenure has coincided with the COVID pandemic, and her leadership has not only been shaped by the experience; it has, in turn, shaped a university that’s stronger for having navigated the crisis.

For instance, Provost Perreault has created programs to nurture student achievement, threatened by years of remote learning—innovations like summer boot camps to reinforce incoming students’ foundational skills, and co-locating support services so that students can more easily take advantage of academic help, and the professionals serving them can learn from one another.

Provost Perreault has increased institutional aid to incoming students, allowing TU to rebound from COVID-era enrollment losses and retain students who would otherwise struggle to afford tuition. She’s now spearheading TU’s first-ever comprehensive enrollment master planning process.

Complementing this focus on students is Dr. Perreault’s attention to faculty. Under her leadership, a small instructional design and delivery office has grown into a center supporting faculty in all aspects of teaching and scholarship. Dr. Perreault increased pay for adjunct faculty and lecturers, long a priority of TU’s shared governance councils. She’s focused on diversifying TU’s professoriate, investing in programs to make faculty searches more inclusive, to hire more underrepresented faculty, and to retain them at Towson.

President Schatzel has relied on Dr. Perreault’s deep expertise as Towson pursues even greater growth and prominence, tapping her to lead TU’s push for an R2 Carnegie Classification, which signifies that the university has high research activity. The five-year plan provides for new faculty and staff lines, direct research support, and a restructuring of Towson’s R&D enterprise.

I’m grateful to Provost Perreault for agreeing to step into the top spot at Towson. I know she’ll continue to guide the university with the same vision, care, and confidence that have characterized her last four years.

The presidential search will be conducted by Isaacson, Miller, one of the country’s premier executive search firms. I’ll be in touch with you in the new year to detail how the process will unfold and how you can be involved. You’ll have the opportunity to share with me the qualities you’d like to see in Towson’s next leader, and I’ll invite you to nominate people to serve on the search committee.

Until then, I wish you all a joyous holiday season.


Jay A. Perman

To the TU Community:

This morning, the University of Louisville announced that Dr. Kim Schatzel will become its 19th president, assuming the role on Feb. 1.

There’s no question that President Schatzel’s departure from Towson University and from the University System of Maryland (USM) is a loss for us. The fact that Dr. Schatzel was tapped to head a university as nationally prominent as UofL, as highly regarded, speaks to her enormous talent and drive, which we’ve seen up close since she was named TU’s leader nearly seven years ago.

Taking the reins in 2016 at one of Maryland’s largest and fastest growing universities, President Schatzel had a clear vision of excellence that steers TU to this day. The university’s physical campus has grown under her leadership. State-of-the-art facilities were built, renovated, and expanded to support every facet of TU’s operations: teaching and learning, research, student life, administration, athletics. This growth was funded with $1 billion from state leaders over the course of Dr. Schatzel’s presidency, the largest capital investment in TU’s 166-year history.

But Towson’s campus is far from the only thing that President Schatzel has transformed. TU has become significantly more diverse with Dr. Schatzel at the helm, boasting the second-largest population of students of color in the state, and a racial/ethnic makeup that’s now nearly identical to Maryland’s.

Of course, diversity alone isn’t a sufficient indicator of progress, nor is it how President Schatzel measures success. TU has closed the achievement gap between Black and Latinx students and their white classmates, one of only a handful of U.S. colleges that can make that claim. For eight straight years, Black students at Towson have graduated at a rate higher than the university’s overall rate, and Towson is prominently ranked for social mobility—its success in graduating students who attend college with the aid of Pell grants. It’s these decisive outcomes that have won the university national recognition for inclusive excellence. Deservedly so.

In tandem with this aggressive equity agenda, President Schatzel has prioritized community-engaged scholarship and service. In 2015, TU earned the coveted Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, indicating a deep institutional commitment to engagement. Dr. Schatzel’s work in the intervening years has focused on ensuring that this commitment demonstrably benefits TU’s neighbors and Maryland as a whole.

She’s done this with projects like BTU, a system of 500+ community partnerships (and growing) that support Towson’s mission, enhance student learning, and advance Greater Baltimore. She’s done it with StarTUp at the Armory, Towson’s new hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, where community members can grow their businesses and connect with mentors, partners, and funders. StarTUp was just named North America’s best university-based economic development initiative.

That accolade was soon followed by another: TU won APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation for its dedication to nurturing human talent for a dynamic workforce; growing the economy through entrepreneurship and technology development; and enriching Towson as a “place of choice” through public service and community outreach.

President Schatzel’s ambitions for TU certainly haven’t slowed. Earlier this fall, the USM regents approved her plans to seek Carnegie R2 Classification, signifying that a university has achieved high research activity. This ambition aligns with Dr. Schatzel’s aspirations for a school with as much potential as Towson: to create the knowledge that solves society’s most urgent problems, to deepen TU’s impact as an anchor institution, and to leverage a robust research enterprise as a means of enriching the student learning experience, which is perhaps Towson’s most enduring hallmark of excellence.

The USM Board of Regents will soon launch a national search for President Schatzel’s successor, and I’ll be in touch with you to name TU’s interim leader as that search gets underway. I’ll also share details on how you can get involved in the process.

Saying goodbye to University System leaders is always difficult. Saying goodbye to leaders as driven, as dynamic, and as successful as President Schatzel—especially so. She is as clear-eyed about the future as anyone I know, and I have no doubt that her vision will mean great things for the University of Louisville.


Jay A. Perman