Office of the President

President Laurie Carter hallway photo

We are a thriving campus community that strives for diversity among its members and equal access to educational and support resources for all. We value social equity and multiculturalism as a means of promoting institutional innovation, problem solving, justice, fairness, and understanding.
Higher education, and in particular public higher education, is currently experiencing multiple major challenges. In the midst of these singularly daunting challenges, it is important to remember the words of Maya Angelou: “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Shippensburg's work to advance diversity as an institutional value and commitment must and will continue. For I believe as stated by Mahatma Gandhi that "Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation."

– A message from President with regard to access and equity

President's Initiatives

Among initiatives indicating the lived commitment to greater diversity at Shippensburg University are three especially worthy of note:

  • A Campus Living, Learning, and Working Environment Assessment with Sue Rankin & Associates sponsored by the Office of Social Equity and the Office of the President.
  • The H.O.P.E. Diversity Scholarship Program sponsored by the Shippensburg University Foundation.
  • The ACT: Ask. Communicate. Teach Tolerance. campaign developed by students and sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

President’s Leadership Academy

The President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) is coordinated through the Chief Strategy Officer's Office, and is committed to fostering, promoting and supporting holistic professional development to increase Shippensburg University’s capacity to significantly improve its identity, culture, and future success. In stewardship of the University’s four priorities; 1. Student Success, 2. How we tell our story, 3. Interacting with our Community and 4. Quality, our mission, through executive-style professional development of each member, is to build an exemplary leadership-bench that provides insight and recommendations for the developmental, continued and sustainable success of our most valuable resource, the students of Shippensburg University.


Shippensburg University President Dr. Laurie Carter and WellSpan Health President and CEO Roxanna GapsturHealth first

Women hailing from Franklin and Cumberland counties can consider themselves well on their ways to being healthier and better informed on topics relating to their unique health considerations as females after attending WellSpan Health’s second annual Women’s Wellness Day on February 8, 2020. Co-sponsored by Shippensburg University, there was a record showing at the free event, which featured sessions from WellSpan Health providers on topics such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, heart disease, nutrition, breastfeeding and stress management.

Ship U and HACC recommit to preparing workforce of the future

Shippensburg University president, Laurie A. Carter and John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D., president of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, have signed a comprehensive and enhanced articulation agreement that supports post-secondary educational opportunities that will carry students into 21st century careers. The agreement ensures seamless transfers of coursework for HACC students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at Shippensburg University.

On August 7, 2017, Laurie A Carter, J.D., became the 17th president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to coming to Shippensburg University, Carter was the executive vice president and university counsel for Eastern Kentucky University, a regional, public university enrolling more than 16,000 students in Richmond, KY. As executive vice president at Eastern Kentucky, Carter served on the president’s cabinet and assumed responsibility for the university in the president’s absence. She provided leadership for 33 departments, including the University Counsel’s Office and the Division of Student Success, overseeing a budget of more than $71 million. She created the Student Success Center and initiated a program for first generation college students at EKU.

Before her initial appointment as executive vice president for student success and university counsel at Eastern Kentucky, Carter spent about a year as vice president for arts education at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where she was responsible for providing strategic leadership, external relations and administrative management of the third largest arts education program in the United States. Previously, she held various positions over almost 25 years at The Juilliard School, considered the nation’s premiere performing arts college.
Carter began her tenure at Juilliard as director of student affairs, a position she held for five years before being named assistant dean for student relations and legal adviser. She also served as associate vice president and vice president for legal and student affairs and was founding executive director of jazz studies at the prestigious performing arts school. She created, implemented and supervised diversity initiatives, resulting in a 10 percent increase in under-represented students and a doubling of under-represented faculty. She created and implemented jazz studies at Juilliard, leading the successful effort to have the program accredited. She also led the planning and design of a $200 million renovation project at the school.

Carter has taught at Eastern Kentucky, Juilliard and Seton Hall University. She also was director of residence life at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a residence hall director at William Paterson. She is a member of the Kentucky and New York State bar associations; the National Association of College and University Attorneys; and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She also is a board member of YMCA-Richmond and LexArts.
She is a graduate of what was then Clarion State College, now Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the Bachelor of Science in communications degree she earned from Clarion, Carter also has a Master of Arts degree in communications from William Paterson College and a Doctor of Law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark.