Interim PASSHE chancellor visits EU

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at 6:19 PM
Interim PASSHE chancellor visits EU by Macala Leigey
Photo: Macala Leigey

Recently appointed Interim Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), Dr. Karen M. Whitney visited Edinboro University on Oct. 2 as part of her state-wide campus tour of the state system’s universities.

“As the interim chancellor, I’m hitting the ground running, wanting to personally meet with students, alumni, faculty and staff and leadership from all 14 universities, so that I can understand the strengths that each of the universities bring to the commonwealth,” said Whitney.

She continued: “Although I was president at Clarion for seven years, and I’ve been to all the universities, in this new role I wanted to engage folks. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to go to the campuses.”

Edinboro is the fourth university Whitney has visited within the state system, with her previous campus tours taking place at Clarion University, Slippery Rock University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

During her visit at Edinboro, Whitney held a small panel discussion with Edinboro University President Dr. H. Fred Walker, local media outlets, student leaders and other administrative officials present and discussed her future plans for the state system, while hearing out student questions and concerns.

“With my appointment, I’ve been asked to work with the board on creating a tremendous amount of change and redesigning the system, and then also redesigning the basic leadership and governance of the universities with the system,” said Whitney.

She also mentioned that these potential future changes mean, “A more focused interest on ensuring that every single student who enrolls at any of our universities graduates in a timely way and that they have a plan of what they are going to do after graduation — that’s our definition of student success.”

Whitney continued: “I think also looking that all 14 universities are vital and important, and looking at the strengths of those universities and how we can collaborate to be successful.

Walker commented on the chancellor’s visit, saying, “The chancellor is doing a really good job of trying to pull the community together and making sure everyone understands what her initiatives are for the next year, but at the same time I think there is a bigger message.” 

He continued: “The chancellor and the chair of the board of the governors coming to Edinboro shows that we are a part of the system and that we are a valued part of the system, and that’s really an uplifting vote of confidence for our university.”

Graduate students Becki Leonard and Krista Piganelli were both present at the chancellor’s panel and had the opportunity to speak with her.

“When we were asked to do this, I thought it was a really great opportunity, because first of all, it’s not every day the chancellor visits your campus, and it’s definitely not every day where you get to engage, ask questions and interact with them,” said Leonard.

She continued, “I feel she (Whitney) is very open to hearing what we have to say and our concerns and comments, and I think she’s going to be doing a really good job as the new interim chancellor.”

Piganelli added to Leonard’s statement, by saying, “I liked how she wanted to know what we took from Edinboro and how we felt about all the changes that were happening.”

Whitney will continue her campus visits to the remaining 10 universities in the state system, and left Edinboro with the statement, “I love the Fighting Scots, I love bagpipes and I love warm sunny days in Edinboro.”

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

Tags: passhe, edinboro

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