By Matthew Ritchie, AFRO Intern

Dr. Heidi M. Anderson is the next president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the school announced July 17.

The move quickly filled the void left after former president Dr. Juliette Bell stepped down earlier this month. Bell had been the UMES president for six years. During her tenure, UMES’ pharmacy program, started by Dr. Thelma B. Thompson in 2010, propelled itself into the Top 10 producers of African-American pharmacists list. Bell awarded the program’s charter class their degrees in 2013. She increased student success during her time as president, with the school achieving its highest four-year graduation rate in 14 years. Her presidency was characterized by growth and advancement.

Dr. Heidi M. Anderson takes over as president of University of Maryland Eastern Shore from Dr. Juliette Bell. (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Anderson will look to continue the tide of success brought by Dr. Bell.

Anderson brings an impressive level of qualifications and experience to the presidency. She holds a Ph.D in Pharmacy Administration from Purdue University, and brings with her 20 years of experience in roles of leadership in higher education. Before her appointment, she was the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she managed a $35 million budget and oversaw 22 academic departments and over 40 academic majors. She paved the way for new degrees in the fields of computer science, engineering, and clinical mental health counseling at TAMU-Kingsville.

Under Anderson’s leadership, the university showed considerable growth in multiple areas. They increased the number of dual-enrolled students, research spending increased by 4.6%, and she helped to secure $2.5 million in funding to support faculty development and student success. While she was in charge, multiple academic programs underwent accreditation reviews, producing considerably successful results.

Before her tenure at TAMU-Kingsville, from 2013 to 2015, Anderson was the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. There, she managed a $37 million budget as the university’s chief academic officer. She also promoted minority enrollment at the university, leading initiatives which increased African-American (28.4%), Hispanic/Latinx (22.7%), and Native American (1000%) enrollment.

“I am thrilled to be appointed the 16th leader of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore,” Anderson said in a statement. “I embrace UMES’ focus on high-quality teaching and on producing knowledgeable citizens capable of leading and competing regionally, nationally, and globally.”

Anderson’s hire will take effect September 1.


This article has been updated.The previous version said UMES’ doctor of pharmacy program was established during Dr. Juliette Bell’s presidency. The program was started by Dr. Thelma B Thompson in 2010: Dr. Bell awarded the program’s charter class their degrees in 2013. The AFRO regrets the error.