Jonathan Gibralter

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Jonathan C. Gibralter was named the 14th president of Frostburg State University in March 2006.

Gibralter earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, his master of arts degree in counseling psychology from New York University, and a Ph.D. in human development from Syracuse University.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Gibralter worked in the mental health field as he advanced his education. After about a decade working in a variety of mental health venues, he followed his interest into academics, becoming a faculty member at the State University of New York at Morrisville. Morrisville was also where he discovered an interest in higher education administration, becoming associate dean of the school of liberal arts. He eventually progressed through a series of increasing administrative positions at New York colleges, culminating in his presidency at Farmingdale State University of New York, part of the SUNY system, where he was president from 2001 to 2006.

His leadership at Farmingdale was critical to gaining funds for a number of projects, many related to the development of the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, a collaborative effort between Cold Spring Harbor and Farmingdale State to grow the bioscience industry on Long Island. They include $20 million in New York state funding for construction of the 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) Bioscience Incubator facility and $2.5 million through the New York Senate Ge*NY*sis program for the purchase of laboratory equipment. He also acquired $2.7 million to purchase a new fleet of aircraft for the Farmingdale Professional Pilot Program on the Farmingdale campus.

Also at Farmingdale, Gibralter initiated a major gifts campaign and developed a comprehensive strategic plan. These efforts, as well as a marketing and enrollment plan and a student retention program, resulted in the highest increase in applications and enrollment in the SUNY system for that period while simultaneously increasing admission selectivity. Six new bachelor degree programs were instituted in his tenure.

On August 2, 2006, Gibralter took the helm at Frostburg State University, where he oversees a campus community of nearly 5,000 students and 260 full-time faculty members and a budget of more than $80 million. His priority of increasing and stabilizing enrollment, aided by the Enrollment Management Committee, a task force of campus and community constituencies, resulted in FSU welcoming its largest freshman class in history in the fall of 2007.

He was instrumental in bringing to Allegany County a grant of $2.5 million for site work for the first building in the Allegany Business Center at Frostburg State University, a technology park on the FSU campus. He has also begun addressing regional workforce development and the revitalization of Frostburg’s historic Main Street.

In addition, he established the Office of Communications and Media Relations with the goal of raising the institution’s profile beyond Western Maryland, and he is focusing on the development of a $15 million capital campaign.

He has also put his own energies behind the movement at FSU and elsewhere to address issues of climate change and sustainability. He is a charter signatory and member of the Leadership Circle of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and he was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to the Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Mitigation Working Group, a sub-group of the Maryland Climate Change Commission. In September 2009, under Gibralter’s leadership, FSU submitted a Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, which provides strategic steps and actions for the campus community on how to reduce carbon emissions. In April 2010, Gibralter was named to the Second Nature’s National Transportation Policy Task Force, which is composed of college and university presidents with the goal of combining institutions that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and national transportation policy.

In September 2008, Gibralter was honored with the national Presidential Leadership Award from a group of seven major higher education organizations for his efforts in promoting a campus climate that de-emphasizes alcohol and for his leadership in fighting binge-drinking at colleges and universities across the country.[1]

He has served in a number of roles in higher education organizations, including serving as a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and as the representative for Maryland on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Council of State Representatives.

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