Dudley-Eshbach was appointed SU’s eighth president in 2000, the first woman to hold the office. She is the University System of Maryland’s longest-serving female president and is the second longest-tenured president in SU history.
“I first knew Janet when I was President of Towson University,” said USM Chancellor Robert Caret. “She was (and still is) a fierce champion for Salisbury University. Her energy, passion, intelligence and humor marked her as someone whose voice would be heard. When I returned as Chancellor, those aspects of her character had not changed, but she also can speak eloquently about the significance of public universities everywhere, particularly their missions to help all students and educate an informed public. She has made higher education her life, and SU, the University System of Maryland, and the citizens of Maryland, are better for it.”
“Change is good, for institutions and individuals,” Dudley-Eshbach said in a letter to campus. “Eighteen years is a long tenure for any university president, especially in today’s world.
“On reflection, I am immensely grateful to everyone associated with Salisbury University. We’ve accomplished so very much together, and my own successes would not have been possible without the support and dedication of thousands of staff, faculty, students, alumni, donors and members of SU’s many affiliated boards.
“I have wanted to time my decision in a way that fits the internal needs of the University,” she said. “I will not be retiring, but looking forward to new opportunities.”
In an agreement with the USM chancellor and regents, she will serve as a special advisor to the University during a sabbatical year which begins July 1, 2018, assisting her successor with transitional matters, supporting fundraising efforts and engaging in special projects, “so long as these activities do not interfere with the primary purpose of my sabbatical,” she added, “which is preparation to resume service as an active member of the faculty beginning the 2019-20 academic year.
“I am greatly looking forward to returning to my first love – teaching, mentoring students, and scholarship. I also hope to make more time for family, music, reading and other interests.” The president is bilingual and said “I wish to be involved in community service activities and would like to work with our region’s Spanish-speaking community, particularly those who may need help with English language skills.”