Dr. James H. McCormick 1973-1983
The long and arduous search process to find a permanent replacement for Robert Nossen as president of Bloomsburg State College (BSC) was completed on July 30, 1973 when Governor Milton Shapp announced that Dr. James H. McCormick, the Vice President for Administration at Shippensburg State College, had been appointed to the position. Although only 34 years of age at the time of his appointment he brought to Bloomsburg years of experience in organization and administration. He received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University (PA), and a master's degree in curriculum and administration and doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. McCormick joined the faculty at Shippensburg in 1965 as an associate professor in the Department of Education and Psychology, and during his time there served as assistant dean of academic affairs, acting dean of Teacher Education, assistant to the President, and Vice President for Administration. He was involved with the Shippensburg State College faculty senate and was one of the two vice-presidents on the Commonwealth team that negotiated the first faculty contract in 1971-72.
When Dr. McCormick came to Bloomsburg he quickly decided that more planning was needed in order to help the college accomplish its academic mission and to diversify its curriculum away from being predominately teacher education. During his ten-year tenure a number of new majors were added which helped to increase enrollment and ensured the future of the college. These included nursing and the master's in business administration. The growth in the school was also shown by the fact that its budget more than doubled from 1973 to 1983, going from just under $14 million to $32 million.
Although the campus did not grow as rapidly as it had the previous decade, there was evident growth in its physical layout. The new football field was dedicated as Robert B. Redman stadium in September, 1974; the last dormitory on on the lower campus, Lycoming Hall, was dedicated in 1976; and in March, 1983, Dr. McCormick participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new student services center that bears his name. Other new areas on campus included a child center for faculty, staff, and students that was established in 1981 and a rock garden placed on the west side of Kehr Union.
The biggest change that happened to Bloomsburg State College occurred near the end of his tenure as president in 1982 when the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was created and the college was to become a university. Dr. McCormick was named to serve as interim chancellor of the new state system beginning July 1, 1983 and granted a one-year leave of absence from Bloomsburg. But in 1984 it was decided he would become the permanent chancellor, and he remained in that position for 18 years until leaving in 2001 to become chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
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