Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

dudley-eshbach-janetJanet Dudley-Eshbach

President Emerita and Professor
Salisbury University

During her 18-year tenure as president of Salisbury University, which ended in 2018, Janet Dudley-Eshbach was, she said, a risk-taker.

“Many people told me that the image that I had for the institution, to become one of the nation’s best public comprehensive universities, was overly ambitious,” she said. But during her nearly two decades as president, the school grew in both selectivity and size. That growth not only boosted the regional economy but produced a large number of students who have assumed leadership positions in business and government throughout our state – and beyond.

One measure of the school’s success, Dudley-Eshbach said, is recognition by the prestigious Princeton Review of Salisbury’s Academic Commons library, built in 2017, as one of the top 20 college libraries in the country.

Mentoring students has provided Dudley-Eshbach with her most rewarding experiences, she said. As an example, she cited lobbying members of the Maryland General Assembly years ago on behalf of Salisbury with then-student Julia Glanz.

“Her political activism and leadership abilities blossomed, and today she is acting mayor of the City of Salisbury,” Dudley-Eshbach said. “I could not be more proud of her.”

Dudley-Eshbach earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Indiana University and a doctorate in Hispanic literature from El Colegio de Mexico. She was the first woman to head Salisbury University in the school’s 75-year history.

“Stay positive,” Dudley-Eshbach said, when asked for advice for future business leaders. “The pandemic and political discord has created an environment in which far too many individuals have become cynical, negative and depressed.

“One day COVID-19 will be in the rear-view mirror; the next generation of successful citizen-leaders will be those who persevered despite present challenges.”

“One day COVID-19 will be in the rear-view mirror; the next generation of successful citizen-leaders will be those who persevered despite present challenges.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Icon Honors awards.

To purchase a reprint of this article, contact reprints@thedailyrecord.com.