UMD Chancellor finalist: Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter

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Jonathan C. Gibralter

Age: 55

Personal: Married, two grown sons

Education: B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, psychology, 1978; M.A., New York University, counseling psychology, 1982; Ph.D. Syracuse University, human development, 1996

Current responsibilities: President, Frostburg State University (part of University System of Maryland)

Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter leads Maryland's Frostburg State University with a vision for sustainability that extends well beyond the natural environment.

His goals clearly include greenhouse gas-busting, as is evident in the university's becoming, during his presidency, a charter member of the American College University Presidents Climate Commitment.

After the university detailed steps aimed at carbon reduction in a Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, Gibralter served on the organization's 2011-12 steering committee, according to a biography listed on the university's website. And in a 2011 convocation, he described readying Frostburg State students for "green-collar jobs," alongside sustainability efforts to "become more fiscally responsible with our facilities."

Dr. Sydney Duncan, chair of Frostburg State's English department and vice-chairman of the faculty senate, said Gibralter is "very committed" to the cause and noted his hiring of a safety and sustainability officer.

Through his support of a sustainability and climate-change-geared program called Focus Frostburg, "he budgets money for a day of teaching and learning in the spring every year," Duncan added. But along with the environment, "it's sustainability in very different areas ... (including) sustaining culture."

Gibralter's efforts on behalf of the future of his university and its students have been multi-faceted.

Among many accomplishments and initiatives Gibralter lists on his curriculum vitae is the establishment of a task force in 2007 that, after nearly two decades of enrollment declines, "resulted in the largest freshman classes and the largest increase in incoming transfer and international students in the history of the university."

At the same time, "we are now increasing our standards for enrollment," Duncan said. "The faculty is fairly pleased with that."

Through a Frostburg spokeswoman, Gibralter said he was not comfortable being interviewed by The Standard-Times at this stage in the chancellor search process. Liz Medcalf, director of news and media services said she believes he'll speak to the media when he visits UMass Dartmouth, but not in advance out of sensitivity to staff at Frostburg.

During a visit to Northern Kentucky University Thursday — where he interviewed for the position of president, according to a news report — Gibralter highlighted to a local news channel his efforts to combat problems of alcohol consumption on campus. "At Frostburg State University, in four years we've been able to reduce our high-risk drinking rate more than any other college in the United States, and we've done that by a broad-based collaboration of people both in law enforcement, landlords, students, members of the local community, faculty and staff," he said in the interview.

His curriculum vitae says he "eliminated" the gap in graduation and retention rates between black and white students at Frostburg and improved salaries to help attract and keep faculty. And along with curriculum and facility expansion, he spearheaded a logo and brand overhaul for the university.

In a 2003 article for the Long Island Journal, Marcelle Fischler detailed a similar image revamping during Gibralter's presidency at New York's Farmingdale State College, from 2001 to 2006. Along with shifts that included a name-change, Fischler detailed how Farmingdale State saw the "largest increase in applications and the largest increase in enrollment of the 30 campuses in the (New York state) university system" under Gibralter's leadership.

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