Editor’s Note: This interview with President Patterson occurred on Sept. 27, a little less than two weeks before the university experienced several infrastructure issues including the water main break outside Naugle Hall and reported gas leak in Dauphin Humanities Center.
Friday, Oct. 27, marked one year since Charles Patterson was inaugurated as Shippensburg University’s 18th president. His time at Shippensburg University started in August 2021 when he stepped in as interim president after Laurie Carter, former SU President, left the university. Before coming to Shippensburg University, Patterson had served as the president of Mansfield University since 2019.
The Slate got to sit down and reflect with Patterson on his year since inauguration earlier this semester.
Schools across the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have seen a decline in enrollment, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Shippensburg University was no different until recently.
“Here at Ship, we’ve been able to flatten that curve, and we have had a slight increase in headcount and number of students that are attending Ship,” Patterson said of SU’s recent enrollment increase. “What we really want to do is continue to demonstrate the value of a Shippensburg University education, and we look to see that increase in the future.”
As president, Patterson said there are no two days that are the same. “Running a campus is like running a city. There are high highs and there are low lows. You take every day with, you know, new optimism.”
Patterson has established himself as a very accessible university president, distributing his personal cell phone number to prospective and current students.
“Students are very appreciative of that, I think, and they use it willingly at times. It’s a good thing for me to hear their voice directly, to hear their concerns,” he said of sharing his phone number. Patterson thinks it is important to hear what students, staff, friends and other stakeholders of the university think and experience.
Congratulations to Charles Patterson on his one-year anniversary of his presidential inauguration. The full interview with Patterson can be viewed at theslateonline.com.
Students can contact Patterson at 912-536-5033. Individuals can also raise concerns and questions to SU’s president and other university officials at President’s Hour on Monday, Nov. 13, from 8 to 9 p.m. in Naugle Hall multipurpose room.