President Search

Information on the national search for TU's 15th president.

Mark R. Ginsberg was appointed the 15th president of Towson University in August 2023. His selection culminated a national search led by the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents.

The search was conducted in two parts. The first, public phase gathered feedback from hundreds of members of the campus community through town halls and input forms. A search committee of two dozen students, faculty, staff, business and community leaders leveraged the feedback to shape a leadership profile for the ideal candidate. 

In the second phase of the search, national higher education search consultant Isaacson, Miller researched and recruited leadership candidates, assembling a pool of highly qualified individuals. The search committee conducted multiple interviews with top leaders before recommending finalists to the Board of Regents and USM Chancellor, who conducted thorough assessments at meetings and one-on-one conversations. Based on this extensive evaluation, Ginsberg was appointed Towson University’s 15th president. 

Search Committee

Members of the President Search and Screening Committee were appointed by the University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor following an open nomination period in which campus stakeholders were invited to offer input.  

  • Ellen Fish, USM Regent (Search Committee Chair)
  • Hugh Breslin, Board of Regents, USM (Regent)
  • Emily Brophy, President, Towson Chamber of Commerce (Community)
  • Bradley Chambers, Senior Vice President & COO, Medstar (Community)
  • Jordan Colquitt, President, TU Student Government Association (Students-UGrad)
  • Gary Gill, CEO, Mackenzie Ventures (Community)
  • Nancy Grasmick, Presidential Scholar, College of Education (Faculty)
  • Stephen Hancock, Assistant Professor, Fisher College of Science & Math (Faculty)
  • Eric Jones Jr., Associate Vice President, Financial Affairs (Staff)
  • Sidd Kaza, Associate Provost & Dean, Research & Graduate School (Administration)
  • Janet Houck Kines, Alumna, Towson Athletics Hall of Fame (Alumni)
  • Mariana Lebron, Associate Professor, College of Business & Economics (Faculty)
  • Matt Lenno, Assistant Vice President, Student Life, Student Affairs (Staff)
  • Lisa Plowfield, Dean, College of Health Professions (Dean)
  • Edna Primrose, President, TU Foundation Board (Foundation Board)
  • Sherman Ragland, CEO, Tradewinds International Holdings (Alumni)
  • Jeff Rosen, Managing Partner, Rosen, Sapperstein, and Friedlander, LLC (Community)
  • Desiree Rowe, Chair, TU Academic Senate/College of Fine Arts and Comm. (Faculty)
  • Francis Soistman, CEO, eHealth (Community)
  • Heather Sorensen, Chair, TU Staff Senate (Staff)
  • Marcus Tuah, President, TU Graduate Student Association (Students-Grad)
  • Evangeline Wheeler, Professor, College of Liberal Arts (Faculty)
  • Nathan Wilder, Senior Associate Director for Sports Medicine and Performance, TU Athletics (Staff)
  • Suzanna Yaukey, Dean, Library (Dean)

News & Updates

To the TU Community:

I’m delighted to share that the USM Board of Regents has named Mark Ginsberg the next president of Towson University. He begins his presidency on Oct. 30.

Dr. Ginsberg is provost and executive vice president at George Mason University, Virginia’s largest comprehensive public research university, enrolling 40,000 students. He says the success of those students—and, indeed, the success of the entire university community—is his primary mission.

As provost, he’s built a student support architecture yielding a first-year retention rate of 87 percent and a six-year graduation rate of nearly 70 percent. His success model has involved expanding living-learning communities at Mason, strengthening academic advising and introducing success coaches, and redesigning the university’s orientation and first-year experience programs. He’s helped develop summer bridge programs for new students, and reimagined Mason’s core undergraduate program to produce a comprehensive, multidisciplinary academic experience.

Just as Towson serves a diverse community of students, Mason is a majority-minority university, and one in four learners is a first-generation college student. Among his initiatives to open access to as many learners as possible, Dr. Ginsberg has focused on fortifying community college pathways, making them more cost- and credit-efficient. Mason’s ADVANCE initiative features nearly 90 articulated academic programs and serves 3,000+ transfer students.

There’s much in Dr. Ginsberg’s résumé that honors TU’s founding as a teachers college and its enduring commitment to lifelong learning. He is, in fact, a teacher of teachers. Before becoming provost at Mason, he served for 10 years as the university’s dean of the College of Education and Human Development. For a decade prior to that, he was executive director and CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. He knows that education doesn’t start—or stop—at the four-year university, and he’s demonstrably committed to building bridges with teachers, parents, and families across the “learning horizon.”

As Towson pursues Carnegie Classification as an R2 institution, Dr. Ginsberg’s experience at Mason—one of the nation’s youngest R1 universities—will be a huge asset. Mason’s rise to R1 status, signifying the highest level of research activity, is a credit to his investment in academic programs, research centers, administrative and operational supports, and personnel at all levels. He recruited a vice president for research, as well as five deans committed to Mason’s ascendancy as a comprehensive research university. He structured compensation packages for dozens of new faculty with promising research careers. And he nurtured a culture of inclusion, expanding diversity in Mason’s R&D enterprise, knowing, as he does, that inclusion is foundational to high research performance.

But this attention to research in no way blurs Dr. Ginsberg’s focus on teaching. At Mason, he crafted workload policies and practices, faculty evaluations, and promotion and tenure models that value teaching equally with research and scholarship.

Dr. Ginsberg knows well TU’s reputation for producing the state’s teachers and health care professionals—areas critically important to Maryland’s strength. His long experience as an educator is especially valuable as the state transforms P-12 public education with the visionary Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. He’s excited to build on TU’s respected programs and expand others with significant workforce and economic impact. He did exactly that at Mason, where he restructured and grew programs in computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, laboratory sciences, math, data analytics, and environmental/climate science.

Dr. Ginsberg is an eminent, oft-cited scholar in education, psychology, human development, and human services. He credits this expertise with a “relational” leadership style that values inclusiveness, respect, trust, collaboration, and cooperation. He aims to enrich TU’s organizational culture and cohesion by engaging the community in candid conversations on issues important to the university and to higher education writ large; by centering the vision of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, and inviting them to imagine the future of TU together. In this way, he plans to lead not just from the front, but from behind, buoyed by students and colleagues equally invested in Towson’s success.

TU won’t be Dr. Ginsberg’s first experience in Maryland higher ed. For more than 20 years, he was on faculty at Johns Hopkins University, with appointments in the schools of education and medicine, and chaired the Department of Counseling and Human Services. In an early role at Hopkins, he served as director of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, and his commitment persists to cultivating environments where people are supported to be healthy and whole.

Maybe this is why Dr. Ginsberg has a habit of rising at every organization he joins. I’m excited to see how his collaborative leadership shapes Towson’s next chapter and accelerates achievement of the goals that all of TU holds close.

I’d be remiss not to acknowledge Interim President Melanie Perreault for her capable leadership of TU as this search was conducted. Dr. Perreault is a key reason for the university’s growing prominence in U.S. higher education. I’m grateful for her ambitious vision and steady hand, and I know she’ll be an invaluable asset to Dr. Ginsberg as he gets to know Towson University and its extraordinary people.

An announcement regarding Dr. Ginsberg’s appointment will be released shortly and will be available at the USM Newsroom. I know you join me in welcoming Mark Ginsberg to Towson University and to the USM family.

Jay A. Perman

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 the President Search webpage for more information and to access the live stream. The USM Board of Regents also invites you to offer 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 the President Search webpage 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