USM Board of Regents Appoints Dr. Carolyn Ringer Lepre as Next President of Salisbury University

Lepre to Join Salisbury from Current Position as Interim President at Radford University, Will Succeed SU President Charles Wight

Baltimore, MD. (May 3, 2022) – The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents has appointed Dr. Carolyn “Lyn” Ringer Lepre as the next president of Salisbury University (SU).  Dr. Lepre, currently the interim president of Radford University, will begin her tenure as SU president on July 15.

Dr. Lepre, whose academic background is mass communications and journalism, has served as interim president at Radford since 2021.  She will succeed Dr. Charles Wight, who has led the university with distinction as president since July 1, 2018.

Prior to her role as interim president, Dr. Lepre was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Radford. As provost, she collaborated with the academic leadership team and the student-centered faculty and staff to advance critical initiatives designed to foster the delivery of high-quality academic programs and experiences and support the Radford strategic plan. These endeavors included the launch of the campus Academic Success Center; a distinctive new general education curriculum, which empowers students to be in control of their coursework from day one and provides an individualized path to degree completion; the establishment of a stand-alone School of Nursing; the creation of a partnership with the Appalachian School of Law that created dual-degree programs; and the development of three online Fast-Track degree programs (RN-to-BSN, MBA, and MSN).

A proven administrator, full professor and respected scholar, Dr. Lepre joined Radford University following a highly successful tenure at Marist College, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  While at Marist, among other administrative appointments, she served as dean of the School of Communication and the Arts and as the director of the college-wide Honors Program. Prior to her years at Marist College, President Lepre was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and California State University, Chico. She also has extensive professional experience in the communication industry, having worked for various national publications and media outlets. 

We are extremely pleased to draw a leader and scholar of Dr. Lepre’s caliber to Salisbury University,” said Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden.  “I can think of no one more qualified to build on the outstanding work of President Wight and continue SU’s profound impact on the region and state. I greatly appreciate the work and commitment of the SU presidential search committee, chaired by Regent Robert Rauch, for finding such a fine leader among many highly regarded candidates.”

“I am thrilled to join such a prestigious, student-centered and forward-thinking university,” said Dr. Lepre. “Salisbury University’s commitment to student success, academic excellence, and focus on inclusivity and belonging aligns with my personal and professional values.  I especially look forward to working in partnership with and celebrating our most important resource – our purpose-driven people. Empowering students to excel as scholars, citizens and practitioners and instilling a passion for lifelong learning is an incredible responsibility and privilege.  I am deeply honored to serve as the next President of Salisbury University, and I look forward to becoming a part of the Sea Gull Nation.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Dr. Lepre to Salisbury University and to the University System family,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “She comes with such a strong track record in expanding academic programs and tailoring them to meet urgent needs; growing enrollment, together with the resources it requires; nurturing learner success; and creating individualized pathways to achievement. Dr. Lepre is committed to the mission of SU—a proudly student-centered university—and I look forward to seeing how she builds on President Wight’s impressive legacy.”

Dr. Lepre’s research has focused on media representation of gender and diversity, health communication and mass communication education, and has published more than 40 book chapters, refereed journal and conference articles. In addition, she is the co-author of U.S. Media and Diversity (Wiley-Blackwell) now in its second edition, with a third edition in progress. She has also worked for various national publications and media outlets.

Dr. Lepre attended Miami University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and journalism. She received her Master of Science in Journalism degree from Ohio University and her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Florida.

Salisbury University is a premier comprehensive Maryland public university offering excellent, affordable education in undergraduate liberal arts, sciences, business, nursing, health sciences, social work, and education, and applied master’s and doctoral programs. The university strives to empower its students with the knowledge, skills, and core values that contribute to active citizenship, gainful employment, and life-long learning in a democratic society and interdependent world. The vision of SU’s “Make Tomorrow Yours” brand can be experienced in video and in written content featured here.

In college guidebooks and surveys, SU remains highly ranked for the value it provides students and families, its academic offerings, and its “green” campus. National publications have lauded the university. U.S. News & World Report has named SU to its lists of “Top Public Schools” and “Best Value Schools.” Princeton Review has named SU to its lists for “Best Colleges,” “Green Colleges,” and “Best College Libraries.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has listed SU among its “Best Public College Values,” and Money has named the university to its “America’s Best Colleges” list. The Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. Department of State recently highlighted Salisbury University among the nation’s top producers of Fulbright students and scholars in the nation.

SU cultivates and sustains a superior learning community where students, faculty, and staff are viewed as learners, teachers/scholars, and facilitators, and where a commitment to excellence and openness to a broad array of ideas and perspectives are central to all aspects of university life. Faculty and professional staff serve as academic advisors, and virtually every student has an opportunity to undertake research or experiential learning with a faculty mentor.

Chancellor Perman appointed the search committee on Dec. 15, 2021, informed by outreach to the campus community after President Wight announced two months earlier that he will step down from his position on June 30, 2022, the end of the current academic and fiscal year.

When President Wight announced his decision to step down, Chancellor Perman saluted his leadership. “Dr. Wight’s ability to sustain Salisbury’s quality and prominence at the same time that he focused on opening access – at the same time that he expanded SU’s academic programs – speaks to his leadership,” Perman said. “Of course, I got to know that unflappable leadership best during COVID-19, and Chuck’s work to secure the safety of his people while minimizing disruption to students was an inspiration. All of us within the University System will miss his wisdom and strength.”

To learn more about Salisbury University, visit

The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.

Systemwide, student enrollment is roughly 165,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully for nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit


Contact: Mike Lurie
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