The University System of Maryland named Charles Wight the next president of Salisbury University, state officials announced Tuesday.

Wight will take over the Eastern Shore campus on July 1. Current president Janet Dudley-Eshbach announced last fall her intention to step down from her post after nearly two decades.


Robert L. Caret, chancellor of the university system, said Wight’s “acumen in fundraising, growing student enrollment, and working seamlessly with state and private funding sources position him well to continue Salisbury University’s strong tradition of success.”

Wight spent five years at the helm of Weber State University, a public regional institution in Ogden, Utah with a student body roughly three times larger than that of Salisbury.

At Weber State, Wight led a $164 million fundraising campaign that exceed its original goal by almost $40 million. He also worked to expand student access to need-based financial aid.

Salisbury University president Janet Dudley-Eshbach announced Wednesday she would step down at the end of the academic year after 18 years with the Eastern Shore institution.

He also named the university’s first chief diversity officer, created the school’s first resource center for LGBT students and implemented a slew of sustainability initiatives.

During his tenure, student enrollment ballooned and eight new buildings were constructed. Weber State boasts the fastest computer science and engineering programs in Utah, according to a university system news release.

“I am both honored and delighted by the opportunity to serve as president of Salisbury University,” Wight said in a statement.

Dudley-Eshbach, his predecessor, is the university system’s longest-serving female president and the second longest-tenured president in Salisbury’s history. She is credited with boosting enrollment, attracting a more diverse student body and overseeing campus construction projects.

She said she was stepping down so that she could return to teaching, pursue other interests and spend more time with her family.