Ms. Laurie A. Carter, J.D.
Laurie A. Carter was named the 17th President of Shippensburg University in 2017. Ms. Carter’s tenure at Ship has focused on the institutional priorities of student success, telling the Ship story, the university’s relationship with the community, and overall quality. Ms. Carter has strengthened student success efforts at Ship by creating a first-year experience program, a first-generation college students program, a comprehensive student success center, and an academic center for student-athletes. These efforts collectively increased retention by 5% over two years. Ms. Carter secured the largest gift in Ship athletics history and collaborated with local business people to create a downtown location for Shippensburg University’s Centers of Excellence, future home of the Charles H. Diller Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as the Center for Land Use and Sustainability. She has transformed the gateway to campus by restoring historic Stewart Hall into a new Alumni and Welcome Center, supporting the expansion of the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail, and renovating the decommissioned steam plant into a home for the State System’s first School of Engineering which she created in 2018. Ms. Carter has strengthened diversity and inclusion at Ship by creating an executive level Chief Diversity Officer. She created a State-wide Black Male Symposium, renovated the multicultural center, created a PRIDE Center, secured a grant for a bystander intervention program, expanded the Title IX office and is creating an Anti-Racism Institute to foster racial understanding across the State of Pennsylvania. Prior to her presidential appointment, Ms. Carter served as executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University. She provided leadership to 33 departments and oversaw a budget in excess of $71 million. At EKU, she created a student success center, negotiated and managed $1.3 million dollars in P3 projects and led EKU to record enrollment and retention while also serving as a member of the graduate faculty. Before her appointment at EKU, she held various inaugural leadership positions during her 25 years of service at The Juilliard School, considered the nation’s premiere performing arts college. Ms. Carter was Juilliard’s first African-American administrator and taught on the liberal arts and graduate faculty. She developed the institution’s student affairs program, initiated diversity initiatives, created the Office of the General Counsel and co-created the Jazz Studies program which included the development of an international touring program. She was vice president and general counsel and executive director of Jazz Studies when she left to lead the nation’s third-largest arts education department at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. At NJPAC, Ms. Carter developed the nation’s first all-female jazz summer residency program while creating national partnerships and fundraising to support innovative programs for underserved communities. Ms. Carter serves as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) where she is in her first term as a Commissioner and in 2021 serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Membership, an American Association of State Colleges and Universities board member, a Millennium Leadership Institute steering committee member and Co-Chair of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission President’s Council. President Ms. Carter attended Clarion University of Pennsylvania, received her masters from William Paterson College, and earned her JD from Rutgers University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Snow College.