Towson University has tapped its provost, Melanie Perreault, to be the school’s interim president in the wake of Kim Schatzel’s departure.

Schatzel, who has been TU’s president since 2016, announced last month that she was leaving to be president of the University of Louisville. Perreault, who also served as the university’s chief academic officer since 2019, will begin her interim role Feb. 1, the same day that Schatzel starts as the 19th president at Louisville.

“I am honored to further serve this remarkable institution as interim president, and I look forward to working with our outstanding leadership team to continue Towson University’s rising momentum,” Perreault said in a news release. “I thank Chancellor Perman and the USM Board of Regents for their trust and confidence, as well as President Schatzel for her tremendous guidance and support.”

Perreault was appointed interim president by Jay A. Perman, the president of the University System of Maryland.

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“Dr. Perreault has been central to TU’s growth and success over the past four years,” the release stated. “I know she’ll continue to guide the university with the same vision, care, and confidence that have characterized her [tenure at TU].”

Since 2019, Perreault has overseen 125 degree programs and supported nearly 23,000 students a year, more than 1,700 full-time and adjunct faculty, and over 200 staff and administrators.

“Dr. Perreault is an exceptional leader and a true champion for Towson University,” Schatzel said, according to the news release. “Her dedication to student success, faculty excellence and institutional inclusion make her the perfect choice to lead the TU community during this important transition … I look forward to supporting her and the rest of TU’s senior leadership team in the weeks ahead.”

Perman said the search firm Isaacson, Miller will lead the search for a new president. A Towson University website dedicated to the search is in the works, and the TU community can be part of the search process. Details will be announced in the new year.