San Diego State president and former UMBC provost selected to run Stevenson University

Elliot Hirshman, who has run San Diego State University for the past six years, has been selected as the next president of Stevenson University.

The Baltimore County university announced Wednesday that Hirshman will begin work as Stevenson's next president on July 1. A career professor and university administrator, he replaces President Kevin Manning, who oversaw the transformation of a sleepy commuter school named Villa Julie College to Stevenson with three campuses, 4,200 students and twice as many undergraduate programs.


"The Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. Hirshman is the right leader to continue the remarkable transformation and growth of Stevenson University and to take the institution to the next level," board chairman James Stradtner said in a statement from the university.

More than 200 people expressed interested in the job after Manning retired in November. He had planned to step down this June, but moved up his retirement for health reasons. Hirshman was selected unanimously by the search committee, and he has previously worked as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


"When he was at UMBC, he showed us just how talented he is. If I had to use one word to describe him, it would be 'amazing.' Baltimore is fortunate to have him returning to us, and we are very happy for Stevenson," UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski said in a statement.

Hirshman also worked as chief research officer at George Washington University, chair of the psychology department at University of Colorado at Denver, and professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"I am honored to join Stevenson University's dynamic community," he said in the statement. "Stevenson's unique integration of career preparation and the traditional liberal arts reflects the best traditions of American higher education while envisioning a future that serves our students and our communities. The University's core values of community, learning, integrity, and excellence were evident in every aspect of the recruitment process. I am excited to work collaboratively with our diverse community to support these values."

He will arrive as the sixth president of the university founded in 1947 to train women as nurses and secretaries. The first dorms opened during Manning's tenure in 2004; there are five today. The school's name was changed from Villa Julie to Stevenson in 2008. And the campus has grown from 66 to 170 acres.

At San Diego State, Hirshman worked to increase fundraising and diversity on campus.

"He is a champion of diversity because of his many experiences in higher education and he believes that it enriches the learning environment. And he is, far and away, the most successful fundraiser we've had at SDSU because of his talent for aligning people's passions with areas where we want to provide excellence on campus, such as matching the right donor to a student scholarship," said Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University System, said in a statement.

Hirshman earned a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics from Yale University and a master's degree in psychology from UCLA. He is married with two children.