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Towson University interim president announced

Dr. Melanie Perreault has been named Towson University interim president.

Dr. Melanie Perreault has been appointed as Towson University’s interim president. She will assume the role on Feb. 1, 2023.

Perreault, the provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs, takes over for Dr. Kim Schatzel who was announced as the next president at the University of Louisville on November 30. Schatzel starts her new role on Feb. 1 as well.

Jay Perman, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, announced Perreault’s appointment on Thursday. In a letter to the Towson University community, he noted that Perreault has been key to Towson’s growth. Despite the fact that nearly half of her four-year tenure has been during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said she has “shaped a university that’s stronger for having navigated the crisis.”

“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,” Perman said in the letter.

Perman pointed to programs that Perreault created to help nurture student achievement especially after it was threatened by remote learning. She helped start summer boot camps to reinforce foundational skills for incoming students. She also worked on co-locating support services for students so they can take advantage of academic help and those 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,” Perman said in the letter.

Perreault has focused on the faculty as well having grown a small instructional design and delivery office into a center supporting faculty in all aspects. She’s worked to increase pay for adjunct faculty and focused on making Towson’s professors more diverse.

Schatzel has also relied on Perreault during Towson’s growth choosing her to lead the school’s push for an R2 Carnegie Classification that signifies the school’s high research activity. The five-year plan provides for new faculty and staff, direct research support and a restructured research and development enterprise.

Perman also announced that the search for next president will be lead by Isaacson Miller, one of the premier executive search firms. More information about the search will be announced in 2023.

Perreault was recognized as a Maryland’s Top 100 Women in 2022 by The Daily Record.