Gary Brown named head of Mercyhurst North East

Gary M. Brown, Ph.D., has resumed his position as head of Mercyhurst North East after the January retirement of former head, Kenneth Zirkle, Ph.D.

Brown has been a Mercyhurst employee for 24 years, with 15 in the position he is currently resuming.

When asked how the decision to make Brown the head of the North East campus was made, President Tom Gamble, Ph.D., said, “There was a very strong consensus on the fact that his background and history were rather suitable for the position. He became the logical choice.”

Brown is no stranger to the leadership position, as he was head of Mercyhurst North East from 1996 until 2011, before he took on the position of senior vice president and chief financial officer.

When Brown was in this position in 1996, the North East campus had only 150 students and, upon leaving, enrollment had increased to approximately 1,100.

The Board of Trustees advised Gamble in the decision he made to put Brown in charge of Mercyhurst North East, but he was the obvious choice from the beginning.

“Dr. Brown has many strong political, philanthropic and business ties in the area, which makes him even more qualified for the position,” Gamble said.

Upon accepting the position, Brown said, “I am very excited about returning to Mercyhurst North East and reconnecting with colleagues and people in the North East community who have always been extremely supportive of MNE.”

When asked what Brown’s new position means immediately for the students of Mercyhurst North East and the main campus, Gamble said, “Well, it might take him a little time to get settled into his current role, but I’m sure there will be changes underway the students can see.”

Some of Brown’s previous positions at Mercyhurst include Associate Dean of Students, Director of Retention and Residence Life (1994-1996) and Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life (1989-1994.). Prior to joining Mercyhurst, Brown was employed at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale as the Assistant Head Resident and Coordinator of Housing Programming.