Office of the President

President Laurie Carter hallway photo

Since President Carter’s appointment as Shippensburg University’s 17th president in 2017, she has been a tireless champion for students and their success. She has fortified student success efforts 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 6% in three years.   

Under President Carter’s leadership, the university has focused on the institutional priorities of student success and telling the Ship story, the university’s relationship with the community, and overall quality. Those priorities are reflected in the work she has directed including by extending the university’s footprint and developing community partnerships.

Carter has worked to integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of the university. She created an executive level Chief Diversity Officer, and has led the way in developing new programming including a State-wide Black Male Symposium and an Anti-Racism Institute. 

She is leading the university boldly into the future planning the strategic course of the institution (2021-2024) in a comprehensive strategic planning process.

Select Initiatives:

  • Envisioned and implemented a one-stop Student Success Center
  • Led the creation of the inaugural first-year experience program
  • Created a First-Generation College student program to serve the unique needs of first generation students
  • Established the first President’s Leadership Academy
  • Created the Shippensburg University Anti-Racism Institute

President’s Leadership Academy

The President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) 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.

Laurie A. Carter was named the 17th President of Shippensburg University in 2017. 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. 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 6% over three years.   

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. 

Carter has strengthened diversity and inclusion at Shippensburg University and has been recognized by Diverse:  Issues in Higher Education as one of 25 outstanding women in higher education. She created an executive level Chief Diversity Officer, a State-wide Black Male Symposium, renovated the multicultural center, created a PRIDE Center, secured a grant for a bystander intervention program, and expanded the Title IX office.  She is creating an Anti-Racism Institute to foster racial understanding across the State of Pennsylvania. 

Prior to her presidential appointment, 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. 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, 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.

Carter serves as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Keystone Health Board of Directors, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Board, a Millennium Leadership Institute steering committee member and Chair of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission President’s Council.

President 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.