Frank Brogan resigns from state system head

Category:  News
Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Frank Brogan resigns from state system head by Macala Leigey

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) will begin a nationwide search for a new chancellor, as its previous chancellor, Frank T. Brogan, retired from his four-year state system position on Sept. 1.

“The chancellor has been considering this for a while, and with the recent completion of the system-wide review, he felt the timing was right,” said PASSHE Media Relations Manager Kenn Marshall.

Marshall continued, quoting Brogan: “In his (Chancellor Brogan’s) own words, ‘With the consultant’s recommendations now in-hand, there’s a natural transition point — both for the system and for my family — that allows me to step away knowing we have a solid road map to follow. The next phase of this process will take some time, and transitioning now will enable the next chancellor to put his or her imprint on that part of the process.”

After stepping down as chancellor, Brogan will no longer be involved in, or hold another position, within the state system.

In a recent news release published by PASSHE, Brogan stated: “I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done to better serve students today and far into the future. This is the system’s opportunity to make bold choices that will ensure our universities are here to meet the needs of our current and future students and the Commonwealth for decades to come and beyond.”

As the state system searches for a new chancellor, current president of Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Karen M. Whitney, will serve as the interim chancellor beginning Sept. 12.

“The Board of Governors wanted an individual who was familiar with the state system and all of the challenges we currently are facing, and who could provide strong leadership while the search for the next permanent chancellor proceeded. Dr. Whitney is currently our longest serving university president,” Marshall said.

In a recent news release published by PASSHE, Board of Governors Chair Cynthia D. Shapira described Whitney as: “smart, strategic and pragmatic. Because she (Whitney) has strong relationships across the system and beyond — and is keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities ahead — she will be able to hit the ground running so we can continue our forward momentum.”

However, the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) expressed concern regarding Whitney’s appointment as interim chancellor in a press release.

“In the short time since the board’s announcement, I have already been inundated with phone calls and emails expressing puzzlement, concern, and annoyance with regard to the board’s choice of Dr. Whitney to be the interim chancellor. Clarion University has continued to struggle under Dr. Whitney’s leadership, and we have not heard her articulate a solid plan for turning the tide,” APSCUF President, Dr. Ken Mash, said.

Mash continued: “Nevertheless, I look forward to meeting with Dr. Whitney soon so that I can directly articulate the concerns of faculty and coaches to her with hope that we can forge a new, healthy, and cooperative working relationship.”

Whitney’s initial plan was to retire as Clarion’s president in June 2018, but by taking on the position as interim chancellor, she will resign from her position as president at the beginning of this month.

“I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the citizens of this Commonwealth,” Whitney said in a state system news release.

She continued, “Let me be clear, the reason I accepted the board’s invitation to serve in this role is because I completely — one hundred percent — believe in this system and that every university in it is vital for this Commonwealth to be successful.”

Until Whitney’s arrival, PASSHE’s Vice Chancellor Peter H. Garland will take over the chancellor position.

According to Marshall, the state system will soon begin a nation-wide search for the next chancellor.

“An executive search firm likely will be hired to assist with the search, much the way we do with presidential searches. Searches such as these generally take around six months to complete,” Marshall said.

He continued: “The search committee will develop a job description, screen applicants and other potential candidates and conduct the early rounds of interviews. The full board would then make the final selection. The likely scenario is that the search would conclude sometime next spring, with the new chancellor assuming the position either next summer or by early fall.”

Regarding the desired qualities and expectations APSCUF has for the next chancellor, Mash said: “Any leadership change brings with it opportunities to look at situations from different perspectives. It brings opportunities for new ideas and new relationships.”

He continued: “We expect the next chancellor to be a strong advocate for the state system.

We are eager to work together with the state system as a whole to fulfill our mission of providing affordable, quality higher education for Pennsylvania’s students. We are keenly aware of the importance of affordability for today’s students and look forward to working with the state system to make an education at our 14 universities within reach for any student who wants one.”

 As for the direct impact, “students and faculty should not really see a significant impact going forward,” according to Marshall.

“The universities’ day-to-day operations will continue to be managed by the presidents. The interim chancellor and Board of Governors will continue to perform their duties and responsibilities as appropriate.”

Macala Leigey is a managing editor (print) for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews. spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: passhe

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