The University System of Maryland Board of Regents appointed of Mark R. Ginsberg to become president of Towson University, one of the state’s largest institutions of higher learning.
The board held a special meeting Wednesday to affirm Ginsberg’s selection based on a recommendation by the system’s chancellor Jay A. Perman.
Ginsberg, who currently works as the provost and executive vice president at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, will begin his tenure at Towson on Oct. 30. He’s been in that position about three years ago, but has worked at Mason since in 2010 starting as a dean at the college of education and human development.
George Mason is Virginia’s largest university with about 35,190 students. In comparison, Towson’s fall enrollment from last year was nearly 19,800.
Ginsberg didn’t appear before the board, but said in a statement, “I am thrilled to join the Towson University community and work in close collaboration with the faculty, staff and students, alumni, and friends of the university as well as the University System of Maryland as we together lift TU to ‘greater greatness’ as an ‘engine of opportunity’ in its next era.”
Perman said George Mason’s “majority-minority” university — serving a diverse student body near the nation’s capital — resembles Towson’s. He summarized Ginsberg’s strengths noting his collaboration with community colleges in Virginia, elevation of the school’s research and most importantly, he said, the students’ success.
“I have talked with his colleagues and his bosses. Dr. Ginsberg is regarded not only as an outstanding administrator, but as a thought leader locally and nationally,” Perman said. “What inspires me most about him is that he sees his primary role as ensuring the success of the students, as well as the faculty and staff he works [with]. He is the definition of a servant leader.”
Perman said starting next month, Ginsberg will spend one day a week at Towson “to get to know the community and his team.”
According to an appointment letter dated July 28 from Perman, Ginsberg will receive an initial base annual salary of $600,000, an annual housing allowance of $35,000 and an annual automotive allowance of $12,500.
Ginsberg could receive additional incentives if he continues to serve as president through Oct. 29, 2026.
A national search to select a new president was conducted by a two-dozen member committee led by Ellen Fish, a member of the board of regents. It’s unclear how many candidates were interviewed for the position.
Towson’s provost Melanie Perreault became interim president Feb. 1, after former Towson president Kim Schatzel left to be president of the University of Louisville. Schatzel began her tenure in Kentucky on the same day as Perreault.
Ginsberg will join Towson as it faces some criticism from Morgan State president David K. Wilson, who claims Towson is duplicating a doctoral business program already established at the historically Black college and university (HBCU).
Wilson wrote in a letter June 30 that the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s decision to allow Towson to create a business analytics doctoral program runs counter to legislation that authorized a $577 million settlement to end a lawsuit that charged the state provided more resources for predominately white institutions and allowed duplication of programs already offered at the state’s four HBCU’s – Morgan State, Bowie State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Several weeks after the commission’s decision in favor of Towson, commission leaders issued a memo for institutional leaders and other higher education representatives throughout the state to pause their pursuit of new degree programs if another institution objects.
The Morgan State campus sits about five miles from Towson in the Baltimore area.
Ginsberg is a 1975 graduate of the State University of New York at Cortland and completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Pennsylvania State University.
Ginsberg spent about half of his more than 40-year career as a professor, administrator and licensed psychologist at Johns Hopkins University as chair of the school’s department of counseling and human services and faculty member of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and in the school of medicine.
“I know the entire board is extremely pleased to have a leader of the caliber of Dr. Mark Ginsberg as the next president of Towson University,” board of regents chair Linda Gooden said in a statement. “I am confident that Dr. Ginsberg will build on President Schatzel’s outstanding work and continue Towson University’s trajectory as one of region’s most innovative and fastest-growing universities.”