Office of the President
Dr. George F. “Jody” Harpster Jr. has been named
sixteenth president of Shippensburg University. He previously served two terms
as interim president of the university. He first served in that capacity upon
the retirement of then-President Anthony F. Ceddia in June 2005 and held the
post until the appointment of President Bill Ruud in early 2007. He again
took the position when Ruud left in May 2013.
A native of Tyrone, Pa., Dr. Harpster earned his
bachelor's degree in psychology from Juniata College in 1972, his master's
degree in counseling and college student personnel administration from
Shippensburg in 1974, and his Ph.D. in adult and higher education with emphasis
on organizational development and small group studies from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1984.
He began his academic career in student affairs
while attending Shippensburg as a graduate student from 1972 to 1974. He then
moved to North Carolina to continue his studies and where he served in various
student affairs posts at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Those roles included area
director and manager of summer conference housing, associate director of
housing for residence life, director of housing, director of student life and
assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, and dean of students and
assistant vice chancellor for student affairs.
He rejoined Shippensburg in 1995 as vice
president for student affairs, a post he held for ten years before being named
interim president. He was later named executive vice president and then
executive vice president for external affairs and university relations.
He serves or has served on numerous committees at
Shippensburg as well as being involved in the former Duquesne-Shippensburg
doctoral program in educational leadership, where he served as a member of
multiple doctoral dissertation committees.
He has written on higher education-related topics
and given numerous presentations to professional organizations at the state,
regional, and national levels.
Dr. Harpster is a member of various professional
organizations including the American College Personnel Association, Council for
Advancement and Support of Education, CUPRAP: The Association of Communicators
in Education, and the National Association of College and University Business
Officers. He also is a member of numerous honor societies including Phi Kappa Phi
National Honor Society.
He is active in the community and is a member of
various organizations including Franklin County Women-In-Need Capital Campaign
Steering Committee, Franklin County Friends of Legal Services Fundraising
Committee, South-central Pennsylvania Regional Action Plan Steering Committee,
Harrisburg Area Transportation Study Group Technical Committee, Shippensburg
Public Library Capital Campaign Steering Committee, Shippensburg Area Small
Business Development Center Organizing Group, and Boy Scouts of America
Frontier District Leadership Council.
He is the recipient of numerous awards including
the Shippensburg University Multicultural Student Affairs Recognizing the
Effort Award, Shippensburg Area Chamber of Commerce Common Ground Award,
Shippensburg University Martin Luther King Dream Award, Tyrone Area High School
Distinguished Alumnus Award, Shippensburg University Outstanding Administrator
of the Year Award, and the American College Personnel Association Outstanding
State Division Leader Award.