The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Yolanda Wilson as the sixth president following an extensive nationwide search. The board voted unanimously in support of Wilson’s appointment during a public meeting held on Nov. 3. Wilson will become the first African-American president to lead the college in its 64-year-history.  

Wilson comes to CSM from Wilkes Community College (WCC) in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. She is vice president of instruction at Ashe Campus and Alleghany Center and is a leadership coach for Achieving the Dream. A veteran professor and administrator of the North Carolina and South Carolina community college systems for more than 22 years, Wilson began her career as an adjunct faculty member. He then moved into more progressive leadership roles in academic affairs, student services, and campus operations. Her work in higher education has centered on creating a student-ready college culture, mitigating institutional barriers to access, retention, and completion, and strategically focusing on programming and policies that support all students’ success.

Wilson has completed the 2019-2020 Aspen Rising President’s Fellowship program, received the Phi Theta Kappa Distinguished College Administrator’s Awards – internationally and within the Carolinas, and was recognized as the South Carolina Technical Education Association Administrator of the Year at York Technical College. She currently serves on the Aspen Institute Alumni Advisory Council, the Wilkes Community Foundation Board, and three North Carolina Community College System committees: the Curriculum Committee, the Transfer Advisory Committee, and the Developmental Education Advisory Council. She is board secretary and Region 2 director for the American Association for Women in Community Colleges and chairs reaffirmation visits for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Wilson will start her presidency on Jan. 1, 2023. She is succeeding CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy, who will retire on Dec. 31, 2022, after serving as CSM’s president for more than five years.

“Thanks to the exceptional work of CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy and this college’s leadership, faculty, staff, and students, the College of Southern Maryland has an outstanding national reputation – and that was reflected in the quality and quantity of applicants who applied for the presidency,” said CSM Board of Trustee Chair Shawn Coates, who with immediate past Trustee Chair Jay Webster, co-chaired the search committee. “The CSM Board of Trustees is proud to have unanimously approved Dr. Wilson as our next president. We are eager to partner with her to advance our mission to transform lives and create increased economic mobility in Southern Maryland. Dr. Wilson comes to CSM with an impressive leadership background in higher education. We are excited that she will foster positive relationships with faculty, staff, students, and the local community, positioning CSM for continued excellence.”

“I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to serve as the sixth president of the College of Southern Maryland and return with my family to the beautiful state I call home,” said Wilson. “CSM has a strong legacy of transforming the lives of its students and the surrounding region both educationally and economically. It is a true testament to the outstanding leadership and commitment of the faculty, staff, board members, and community partners for student equity and success. I look forward to working with this amazing CSM community as we honor and build upon this powerful legacy. I am elated to join a community with such a heart for serving and supporting all students to success.”

Wilson was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, earning her bachelor’s degree in English Education and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her Ed.D. in Adult and Community College Education from North Carolina State University. She shared that she is blessed to be married to her best friend, Dale, and together they have three sons: Bryan, Brandon, and Braxton.

The process for selecting CSM’s president included a comprehensive, nationwide search conducted by consultants R. H. Perry and Associates, a rigorous review of qualified applicants by the Presidential Search Committee at CSM and the selection of three finalists. Feedback from public forums and interview sessions with CSM’s President’s Cabinet, faculty, staff, students, and community stakeholders were also considered before the CSM Board of Trustees made its decision.

Learn more about Wilson and the role of presidential search firm RH Perry & Associates and about the process of selecting the sixth president of CSM by visiting csmd.edu/presidential-search/index.html.

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