The Plymouth State University community is preparing for the arrival of Dr. Sara Jayne Steen, who will assume the PSU presidency on July 1 from Donald P. Wharton, who is retiring after serving as the University’s president for the past 13 years.
“I’m very pleased to be moving to Plymouth and to be joining a wonderful town and campus community. People have been very supportive and welcoming,” Steen said.
Dr. Steen, who served most recently as Dean of the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University (MSU), was chosen by the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees to lead PSU. Steen has over 30 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member and senior administrator. In her role as dean at MSU, she oversaw the Departments of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology, English, History and Philosophy, Mathematical Sciences, Microbiology, Modern Languages and Literatures, Native American Studies, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology and Anthropology. In addition, Steen oversaw the Center for Bio-Inspired Nanomaterials, Center for Computational Biology, Center for Thermal Biology, Geographic and Informational Analysis Center, Humanities Institute, Local Government Center, Spectrum Lab, Wheeler Center for Public Policy and the Women’s Studies Program.
Dr. Steen received a B.S. in Education (English, speech) at Bowling Green State University in 1970, an M.A. in English at The Ohio State University in 1974, and her Ph.D. in English at Bowling Green State University in 1978. In 2002 she was nominated by MSU and selected by the American Council on Education for a year-long, in-residence fellowship to study higher education administration at the University of Delaware. From 1996 to 2002 Dr. Steen chaired the Department of English at MSU, and she has been a full professor of English since 1989. She has received numerous awards for teaching and scholarship, including the 1996 President’s Distinguished Teaching Award from MSU. During her career, she has published several books and many journal articles and has been a very active member of the MSU and Greater Bozeman communities.
Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.