The University of Maryland System's board of regents yesterday turned to a veteran academic administrator to lead Salisbury State University, appointing Dr. William C. Merwin to the campus presidency effective Aug. 1.
Dr. Merwin, president of the State University of New York at Potsdam, will replace the late Thomas E. Bellavance. Dr. Bellavance, who had lung cancer, resigned as head of the Eastern Shore campus in October and died in February at 62.
Dr. Merwin's record shows "a firm commitment to the highest academic standards, a strong emphasis on undergraduate education, and a strategic vision of a university's role in society," Dr. Donald N. Langenberg, chancellor of the University of Maryland System, said in a written statement.
Dr. Merwin, 56, earned a doctorate in education from the University of Georgia and holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin. A former Fulbright scholar who studied in Japan, he has taught history and social science education at Wisconsin's La Crosse campus, at Georgia and at the University of North Florida. After becoming vice president for academic affairs at North Florida, he became president of Montana State University's Northern campus. He left Montana for the Potsdam campus in upstate New York in 1989.
As president, Dr. Merwin oversaw an expansion of SUNY-Potsdam's academic programs and its first fund-raising campaign.
SUNY-Potsdam in many ways mirrors Salisbury State, with a historical mission of training teachers and its emphasis on the liberal arts. Potsdam is slightly smaller, with 3,455 undergraduates and a total enrollment nearing 4,000; Salisbury State has an undergraduate enrollment of 5,400 and a total enrollment topping 6,000.
Pub Date: 5/02/96