On March 11, York College of Pennsylvania's Board of Trustees announced the selection of Pamela Gunter-Smith, Provost and Academic Vice President of Drew University in Madison, NJ, as the fourth president of the College. She succeeds George W. Waldner, who retires on June 30 after 22 years as the College's president.
"I am honored to have been selected as the next president of York College," she said. "It is an amazing institution with excellent and committed faculty and staff, wonderful students, and a beautiful campus. York stands as a model for affordable academic excellence and is well positioned to be a leader in the national conversation on the cost of higher education. It will be a privilege to lead this great institution into the future and advance its distinctive mission and vision."
As Provost and Academic Vice President at Drew, Dr. Gunter-Smith — or Dr. G-S as she is known to many of her colleagues and students — acted as chief academic officer with overall responsibility for academic programs and academic support in the University's three schools: the College of Liberal Arts, the Theological School, and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies.
Prior to her appointment at Drew, Dr. Gunter-Smith served as the Porter Professor of Physiology at Spelman College from 1992-2006. At Spelman, she chaired the Biology Department from 1992-2002, and was the Associate Provost for Science and Mathematics from 2002-2003. She served as the Program Director for Spelman's National Insitutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored Center for Biomedical and Behavioral Research 2002-2003, and Spelman's Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program from 1993-2002. She played an integral role in Spelman's enhancement of science curricula across the disciplines, the development of a mentoring program for junior faculty, and the building of a science facility. Gunter-Smith has also held academic appointments at the George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Bethesda, MD). She has been instrumental in generating extramural support for her research and institutional priorities from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and private donors.
Before joining Spelman, Gunter-Smith was a research scientist and science administrator at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, MD, from 1981-1992. She has served on numerous committees that address science education and the underrepresentation of minorities in science, including review panels for the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She served on the AP Biology Redesign Commission for the College Board, and is a former co-chair of the Porter Physiology Development Committee for the American Physiological Society, the minority affairs committee of the society. More recently, she serves on the Board of Directors of the William Townsend Porter Foundation and the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS).
Gunter-Smith holds a B.S. in Biology from Spelman College and a Ph.D. 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. She has published in the areas of gastrointestinal physiology and membrane ion transport, and is the recipient of grants to support science education and her research. She is a graduate of the 2001 HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration. In 2003-2004, she was an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Miami, FL, working with the University's President Donna Shalala.
Gunter-Smith is married to J. Lawrence (J. L.) Smith, a native of St. Louis, MO, who serves as a systems administrator for I.B.M. They are the proud parents of two sons: Lealand, who lives in Nashville, TN, and Philip, who lives in Auburn, AL.
"Among Dr. Gunter-Smith's clearly recognized strengths," George Glatfelter, Chair of York College's Board and of the Presidential Search Committee, said, "are a deep commitment to students, direct experience in the classroom, and an understanding that high-quality education must remain affordable. 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."
"The Presidential Search Committee has led a comprehensive and thorough search process, resulting in a strong appointment for York College's future development," said Waldner. "We look forward to welcoming Dr. Gunter-Smith to the York College community."