University of the Sciences’ board of trustees has named Dr. Helen F. Giles-Gee the University’s 22nd president announced Board Chairman Marvin Samson. Dr. Giles-Gee, who has served as president of Keene State College in Keene, N.H., since 2005, will begin her presidency at USciences on July 16, 2012.
“I am delighted that USciences was able to convince Helen to come back to the Delaware Valley,” said Samson, who has been the University’s interim president since Sept. 1, 2011. “She is a proven leader who understands the need for students and faculty members to be exposed to different disciplines, to appreciate knowledge in a broad context and to value the benefits of diversity. Helen joins this great institution at a time when science and healthcare are making quantum leaps forward. Her demonstrated ability to proactively embrace change, inspire students, faculty, staff and alumni, to effectively engage with the community, and her wide view of the university’s role in society, as a whole, are of critical importance as we seek to educate healthcare and scientific leaders of the future.”
The first female president in USciences’ 191-year history, Dr. Giles-Gee brings more than 30 years of experience in higher education. A well-respected and nationally known scholar, educator, and administrator, she has a documented history of working with faculty, staff, administrators, and campus communities to implement strategies that propel institutions to higher levels.
In her time at Keene State, Dr. Giles-Gee has led the institution through a major transformation. She spearheaded the development and implementation of a strategic plan that in its first five years reached or surpassed benchmarks for academic excellence. She established the positions of provost and vice president for advancement, initiated a college-wide honors program, and oversaw capital improvements and investments. Dr. Giles-Gee also led positive initiatives in the areas of curriculum, co-curriculum, campus building, advancement, shared governance, and diversity. The results have translated to annual double-digit growth in applications for admissions and the increase of Keene State’s stature for academic achievement and economic opportunities in the region.
“I am honored and excited to join University of the Sciences as its president at a time when its mission of educating strong leaders in the fields of health and the sciences is crucial to the success of the state and the country,” said Dr. Giles-Gee. “The University has an established history of achievement as the premier college of pharmacy in the nation. I look forward to the opportunity to work with USciences students, faculty, staff, board, alumni and its surrounding community to foment a solid expansion in the sciences and healthcare fields that fulfill vital needs for economic development, entrepreneurship, and graduate accomplishments. These are the fuel of the quality of life of citizens in many communities and I believe that the University is determined and extraordinarily able to ignite that fuel.”
Prior to her arrival at Keene, Dr. Giles-Gee was provost at Rowan University where, as the chief academic officer, she managed the Colleges of Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts, and Liberal Arts and Sciences along with the Graduate School. In addition, she worked with key legislatures and local leaders to secure $5 million to support development for the Rowan campus in Camden, N.J. Dr. Giles-Gee previously served as dean of the School of Professional Studies at SUNY Cortland, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of articulation at the University System of Maryland, and executive assistant to the president at Towson State University.
Dr. Giles-Gee is the former chair of the American Association of Colleges and Universities Board of Directors. She is a past president of the international Society for College and University Planning, and has been a planning consultant for numerous organizations. She has a long list of academic and professional awards and commendations, including the National Award of Distinction from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and was named as a “New Century Leader” by New Hampshire Magazine.
She earned a bachelor of arts in psychobiology, a master of science in science education with Pennsylvania teaching certificates in biology and general science, and a PhD in measurement, evaluation, and techniques of experimental research from University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she holds an MS in zoology from Rutgers University. A native of Alabama, Dr. Giles-Gee is one of five sisters, three of whom also graduated from University of Pennsylvania, and the other from Tuskegee University. She is the mother of one daughter, Lauren, who attends college in New Hampshire.
Dr. Giles-Gee assumes the presidency of a University that is renowned as the first college of pharmacy in North America. She replaces Dr. Philip P. Gerbino who retired on August 31, 2011, after 16-plus years as president.