Jacob Ashby Named Executive Director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown

Assistant Dean at Frederick Community College to Begin Leadership Role April 5

Baltimore, Md. (March 2, 2023) – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman has appointed Dr. Jacob Ashby as executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH).

The appointment comes after an extensive search conducted in coordination between USM Office leadership and Frostburg State University (FSU) Vice President for Student Affairs Artie Travis. The search committee included local business and community leaders.

Ashby will be the regional higher education center’s third executive director and begins his service on April 5. He succeeds Mark Halsey, who retired in July.

Ashby currently serves as the assistant dean of academic assessment and articulation at Frederick Community College (FCC). He has been employed in various roles at FCC since 2011. These roles include a limited-term position as associate vice president of the center for teaching and learning, where he helped the institution navigate academic operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ashby has taught as an adjunct instructor and a lecturer at both FCC and Hagerstown Community College (HCC).

As the coordinating institution for USMH, Frostburg State University played a central role in the search process for executive director.

Laurence Weill served as USMH interim director from August 2022 through February of this year. USMH Business Manager Lisa McCulloh will serve as interim director for the remaining weeks before Ashby starts in April.

“I’m so happy that Dr. Ashby is joining the System to lead the USM at Hagerstown. He brings strong credentials from his academic and administrative leadership at Frederick Community College, and longstanding connections to Hagerstown and to western Maryland,” said USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman. “He understands the enormous value that a regional center like USMH brings to the community, and how to grow that value for students. I thank Dr. Ashby for taking on this role, and I thank Dr. Larry Weill for his months of service as interim director.”

Ashby earned his doctorate in organizational leadership in higher education from Shenandoah University. Previously, he completed his master’s in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Shippensburg University. He began his education at HCC.

Creating the right environments for student learning and helping foster upward mobility for students is something I have dedicated my professional life to within the region,” Ashby said. “I look forward to partnering with the committed advisory board, FSU, university partners, local community leaders, and local businesses to expand educational opportunities and help students achieve their educational goals at USMH.”

“On behalf of the University System of Maryland, we are excited about Dr. Ashby joining USMH as its next executive director,” said Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk. “His ties to the local community and region as well as his experience with and commitment to higher education will help USMH address the educational needs for the residents and businesses in the region.”

The University System of Maryland at Hagerstown is a regional higher education center that offers upper-division undergraduate and graduate academic programs from universities within the USM. USMH works collaboratively to develop innovative partnerships with local community colleges, businesses, and civic leaders to ensure access and affordability through a seamless and quality learning experience for students in the region. 

USM regional centers are the result of a visionary partnership between USM and campus leaders, elected officials, and business professionals.

Established more than 20 years ago, the concept of the USM regional centers is unique nationally: These are not “satellite” campuses of a single university, but rather conveniently and strategically located sites where multiple universities deliver some of their most in-demand undergraduate, graduate, professional degree, and certificate programs. They are nimble, full-service extensions of the USM that respond to meet the educational needs of students and workforce needs of employers and that are—above all—an affordable alternative to traditional 4-year pathways.

The USM regional centers offer degree programs through partner universities that allow students the opportunity to live, work, and study close to home. Students at USM regional centers are taught by the same professors, take the same courses, and have the same curriculum as those enrolled in the same program at the participating universities and receive their degree from the university where they are enrolled.

The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.

USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu. To learn about the new USM Strategic Plan, “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence,” visit https://www.usmd.edu/vision2030/.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719
Email: mlurie@usmd.edu