Dr. John M. Anderson, president of Alfred State College in New York, was selected December 14 by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to serve as the next president of Millersville University.
Anderson, who was appointed at the conclusion of a national search, will assume his new duties April 1. He will succeed Dr. Francine G. McNairy, who will retire next month after serving as Millersville’s president for nearly a decade.
“Dr. Anderson has a proven record of success throughout his career,” said Board of Governors Chair Guido M. Pichini. “We are confident he will continue that record and will provide outstanding leadership in his new role as president of Millersville University.”
Anderson was named president of Alfred State College in 2008. He has more than 20 years of senior-level administrative experience—including having served as a provost, vice president for institutional advancement and vice president of student services—and 15 years as an instructor and professor of chemistry and physics.
“Dr. Anderson has a vast array of administrative and teaching experiences that caused him to stand out among an impressive group of candidates for the Millersville University presidency,” said PASSHE Chancellor Dr. John C. Cavanaugh. “I am certain he will be an outstanding president for Millersville and that he will be a valuable addition to the State System and to the extraordinary group of presidents already in place.”
“We look forward to welcoming Dr. Anderson as the 14th president of Millersville University,” said Michael G. Warfel, chair of the university’s Council of Trustees. “As we begin the next chapter in Millersville’s history, we are confident that together we will continue to provide an educational opportunity for our students that is second to none.
Anderson said he looks forward to becoming Millersville’s next leader.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Millersville University community as its next president,” he said. “With a great foundation of excellence already established, Millersville is poised to take advantage of the rapidly changing landscape in higher education. I look forward, with great enthusiasm, to working with the students, faculty, staff, Council of Trustees and the greater Millersville community in positioning the University for continued success.”
Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in chemistry from State University College at Brockport in Brockport, N.Y.; a master’s degree in physics from the State University College of Arts & Sciences at Geneseo in Geneseo, N.Y.; and a Ph.D. in education from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. His major area of doctoral study was adult education, with minors in program evaluation and planning and organizational behavior. He also completed additional post-graduate work at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management, the State University of New York at Buffalo and Alfred.
He was an instructor of physics at both the State University College of Arts & Sciences and State University College at Brockport while completing his graduate studies and was hired as an assistant professor of chemistry at Alfred State College in August 1981. He rose through the faculty ranks and was named a full professor of physics in August 1987. He also served as chair of the Faculty Senate and convener of statewide SUNY Local Governance Leaders.
While at Alfred, Anderson also served as interim vice president of student services, dean of student development, vice president of institutional advancement and provost and vice president for academic affairs. He developed the college’s undeclared major program and created the Office of Institutional Advancement for which he developed and implemented a major gifts program and annual fund campaign. During his tenure as provost, the college saw significant enrollment growth and raised more than $2.3 million for a variety of academic projects, including the establishment of a manufacturing training center and a new bachelor’s degree in manufacturing.
Anderson left Alfred in 2003 to serve for a year as interim executive vice president for academic affairs at State University of New York Institute of Technology before being named executive vice president and provost of Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., a position he held for four years. During his time there, Hartwick’s education programs were accredited for the first time and the college raised nearly $6.5 million for a variety of projects, including the construction of a new social science building.
He was named president of Alfred State College in 2008, overseeing the college through a variety of challenges, including the loss of nearly one-third of its state funding. Despite the hardship, the college’s enrollment has grown by 22 percent during his tenure and its budget has remained stable, in part through the reallocation of $1 million to new strategic initiatives. The college also has introduced new programs in areas such as sport management, forensic science, human services management and architecture.