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York College names Pamela Gunter-Smith president

By - Last modified: March 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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Pamela Gunter-Smith. Submitted photo
Pamela Gunter-Smith. Submitted photo

Following a national search conducted by Collegiate Counsel Inc., York College has chosen Pamela Gunter-Smith as its next president.

Gunter has served as provost and academic vice president at Drew University in New Jersey since 2006 and will succeed current York College president George Waldner on July 1.

"We believe that Dr. Gunter-Smith has the background and capability, leadership and passion to build upon the numerous accomplishments of Dr. George Waldner and continue to improve our reputation and recognition," presidential search committee chairman George H. Glatfelter wrote in a news release. "Her deep commitment to students, direct experience in the classroom, and understanding that high-quality education must remain affordable were strengths identified by the search committee and board of trustees. In addition, her strong collaborative skills will be helpful not only within the college and its constituencies but also within the community in which the college resides."

With its Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Drew has more than 2,300 students. During Waldner's tenure, York's enrollment has grown from 2,750 to about 4,700.

During Gunter-Smith's tenure at Drew she was credited with advancing a new vision for the sciences, including the design of a new science facility; elevating standards for promotion and tenure; increasing the diversity of faculty and students; improving student retention; and creating new graduate programs. She also led Drew's strategic planning and assessment efforts.

Gunter-Smith was the Porter Professor of Physiology at Spelman College from 1992 to 2006, serving as chair of the biology department for 10 years. From 1981 to 1992, she was a research scientist and science administrator at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Maryland.

She also has served on review panels for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, as well as on the AP Biology Redesign Commission for the College Board. She is a former co-chair of the Porter Physiology Development Committee for the American Physiological Society and serves on the board of directors of the William Townsend Porter Foundation and the Higher Education Resource Services.

Gunter-Smith holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Spelman College and a doctorate in physiology from Emory University. She conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and has published in the areas of gastrointestinal physiology and membrane ion transport.

Gunter-Smith is married to J. Lawrence "J.L." Smith, a native of St. Louis who currently serves as a systems administrator for IBM. They have two adult sons, Lealand of Tennessee and Philip of Alabama.

Waldner, who has led York College since 1991, announced his plans in December 2011 to retire this year. Working with Collegiate Counsel, in September 2012 the college reported reveiwing more than 150 expressions of interest.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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