Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach
President of Salisbury University
Janet Dudley-Eshbach was appointed the eighth president of
Salisbury University in 2000, the first woman to hold the
office. During her tenure, she has provided transformational
leadership, implementing a strategic vision that has resulted in
the institution’s growth in size and reputation. She was the
only university president honored this year by the
Maryland Daily Record
as one of the state’s “Most Admired CEOs.”
When Dudley-Eshbach arrived, SU had a student population of
6,400. Today, the student body is 8,600, a growth of 34 percent.
Entering high school grade point averages are 3.7, a campus
all-time high, and in the last five years, average SAT scores
have increased some 50 points. Dudley-Eshbach has been
successful in getting more equitable state funding for Salisbury
University, one of the selective institutions in the University
System of Maryland, and in attracting private support to foster
dynamic changes, from new buildings to new degrees.
A Latin American literature and Spanish-language scholar who
is fluent in Spanish, she was profoundly moved by study abroad
experiences and exposure to different cultures and ethnicities.
Under her leadership, the number of minority students has more
than doubled, increasing 150 percent. She cut the ribbon on a
Center for International Education and an English Language
Institute. Today, SU’s campus attracts students from 69
countries. She has joined students on spring break service trips
to areas such as Aguascalientes, Mexico. Her passion for
international study and “Transformative Love of Hispanidad” have
been showcased by The
Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.
Strategic partnerships and town-gown relationships also have
been part of Dudley-Eshbach’s vision. Her support of shared
governance has garnered recognition from the University System
During her tenure, nearly a third of SU’s current majors and
the campus’ first doctorate, in nursing practice, have been
developed. The University skyline has been transformed by
state-of-the art facilities including the Teacher Education and
Technology Center, which received national recognition for its
design; Perdue Hall, Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center
and Sea Gull Square residence-retail complex. Planning is
underway for a $115 million Academic Commons. Altogether the
University has expanded with some $300 million in new
facilities. A front-page
Baltimore Sun feature highlighted SU’s growth in “size,
reputation, ambition.” With some 1,700 employees, it has become
one of the region’s largest employers with an economic impact of
some $420 million annually.
Committed to sustainability, Dudley-Eshbach has fostered such
campus initiatives as Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) certification of six new and renovated buildings.
She has been successful in nurturing private partnerships.
The SU Foundation’s recent campaign raised nearly $40 million,
some $15 million higher than its goal.
Every year during her tenure, SU has been one of
The Princeton Review’s
Best Colleges and among
U.S. News & World Report’s Top Public Universities. For the last
four years, the campus was also named a “Best Value” by
Finance. Dudley-Eshbach three times has been named one of
Maryland’s Top 100 Women, and was inducted into
The Daily Record’s
Circle of Excellence.
Her expertise and opinions have been featured in such
national publications as
Public Purpose, University Business and The
Chronicle of Higher Education. She was elected to the board
of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and
Universities, has served on the board of the American Council on
Education, and is active in the Hispanic Association of Colleges
Prior to her arrival at SU, she served as president of Fairmont State University
in West Virginia, and held faculty and administrative positions at three other
private and public colleges and universities. A Phi Beta
Kappa scholar, she earned her Ph.D. from El Colegio de Mexico.
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