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New president on listening tour
September 12, 2018

New president on listening tour

Dr. Heidi Anderson is new UMES president

By Richard Crumbacker

Crisfield-Somerset County Times


PRINCESS ANNE — As the University of Maryland Eastern Shore celebrates its 132nd year since its founding, the 16th president was preparing to “open a new chapter” in the school’s distinguished history.


Heidi M. Anderson addressed faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members on her fourth day on the job last Friday — remarks punctuated by a passing storm that could be heard inside the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts.


As she spoke about the value of higher education being questioned, there was thunder, emphasizing her remark that she knows “that right here, we have students enrolled in degree programs who will become pharmacists, educators, pilots, entrepreneurs, who will work on large and small community issues.”


Dr. Anderson succeeds Juliette B. Bell who retired July 1 after six years, and was replaced in the interim over the last two months by former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim.


The Gary, Indiana, native holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration and was most recently the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A& M University-Kingsville. There she managed a $35 million budget and oversaw 22 academic departments, 10 centers and institutes and more than 40 academic majors.


Arriving at UMES when students were moving in, Dr. Anderson said she will spend the first 100 days holding “town hall” meetings to “ listen, lead and learn.” She already knows, however, that emphasis will be placed on boosting enrollment, fundraising and encouraging admission from more first-generation students like herself.


Other challenges include deciding how to proceed on the physician’s assistant program, which lost its accreditation in 2015. As a past president of a pharmacy accreditation organization, she knows what it takes to run an effective program and will monitor the accreditation process now ongoing with the university’s pharmacy program.


Dr. Anderson plans to employ the “TEAM” approach, an acronym she uses for “Together in Excellence we will Affirm our Mission.”


University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert L. Caret said the search committee and the Board of Regents saw in Dr. Anderson the experience to lead UMES, and someone with the energy and drive who “ wanted to do the work.”


He too emphasized enrollment, “and that’s beginning to happen.”


Dr. Caret said Dr. Anderson was in competition with a number of other sitting

presidents but her desire and energy “stood out.” She is the sixth university president he’s hired during his four years as chancellor, and he thanked Dr. Burnim for keeping the momentum going following Dr. Bell’s departure.


Deborah Powell-Hayman, president of the UMES National Alumni Association, said she noticed how Dr. Anderson interacted with stu dents, and appreciated her desire to know the alumni and faculty.


She said former students stand ready to help accomplish Dr. Anderson’s vision for the campus.


In addition to her time in Texas, Dr. Anderson was in leadership roles at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and University of Kentucky. She chaired and served as a professor in the Pharmacy Care System Department at Auburn University, and was an assistant professor in the University of Tennessee’s College of Pharmacy.


She has a B.S. in Pharmacy and a M.S. in Education which like her Ph.D. were earned at Purdue University.


“I’m absolutely sure we made the right decision” in hiring Dr. Anderson, said Robert D. Rauch of Easton, a member of the Board of Regents. He said “it was obvious” to the regents she was “the perfect choice.” 

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