Former president lands at Erie County Technical School

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 5:30 PM

The Edinboro University community is no stranger to the recent and sudden end of Dr. H. Fred Walker’s tenure as university president, spurred on by a controversial piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education. What may be a surprise, though, is his quick landing at another educational institution.

Early last month, it was announced that Walker would join the Erie County Technical School (ECTS), serving as director of career and technical education.

Walker previously made a commitment to the Erie area, purchasing property in the area with his wife. Knowing this, it is less shocking to find that ECTS is just 19 minutes from Edinboro, north on Route 99.

In this new administrative position, Walker will oversee career education for nearly 800 students in the Fort LeBoeuf, General McLane, Girard, Fairview, North East, Harborcreek, Iroquois, Millcreek, Northwestern, Union City and Wattsburg school districts.

ECTS offers 19 technical and vocational programs to students in 11 of the 13 Erie County school district locations.

As director of ECTS, Walker will hold responsibilities similar to those as president, he said in a phone interview last week. These include day-to-day management of institutional staff and finances, in addition to public matters.

Still, directorship of a technical school is a slight shift in gears from Edinboro — a liberal arts college — but the position is in line with his other past positions in higher education.

“This directorship is very much keeping in my background as far as technical teaching goes,” Walker said.

Walker has over two decades of experience working in higher education. Before becoming president of EU, he was dean of the college of applied science and technology at Rochester Institute of Technology from 2008 until he was hired at Edinboro. Before that, Walker was a professor and chair of the department of technology at the University of Southern Maine.

Walker was hired by ECTS in an 8-1 vote by Erie County Technical School’s operating committee. While the committee includes 11 members, two were absent.

Casting the sole vote against Walker’s hiring was John DiPlacido, who represents the Millcreek Township School District (MTSD). He did not respond to a call and message from The Spectator.

Based on “A Survey of the Salaries of Career and Technical School Directors in Pennsylvania,” a 2015 study done by the Joint Operating Committee of ECTS, a director at this technical school is paid $114,548 annually. This is a nearly $140,000 pay cut from Walker’s $250,000 annual base salary at Edinboro, according to his presidential employment agreement.

In a statement by Sam Ring, joint operating committee chairman of the Northwestern School District, his contract is for five years, lasting until June 2023.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to make an impact in our community,” Walker said of his new position. “Whether it is at Edinboro University or ECTS, I think it is less important (which institution) and at the end of the week, it is more important that you helped the lives of young men and women in the community.”

Hannah McDonald can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: news

View Our YouTube Channel
Edinboro TV
 
Find Us on Instagram