Provost Ready for ‘New Challenges and Opportunities’

May 20, 2020

Portrait of Bruce BarnhartAfter 36 years as a Cal U faculty member and administrator, Dr. Bruce Barnhart, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, has announced that he will retire on July 3, 2020.

“I’m looking forward to new challenges and opportunities,” Barnhart said. “I’ve enjoyed my career at Cal U, and I’ll always be the Vulcans’ biggest fan. But it’s time to begin the next phase of my life.”

Barnhart earned three degrees at California – a B.S.Ed. in biology in 1983; an M.Ed., also in biology, in 1989; and an A.A.S. in physical therapy in 2001. He earned an Ed.D. in Professional Physical Education from West Virginia University, in 1992.

Barnhart joined the Cal U faculty in fall 1984 and taught for 24 years in the athletic training and physical therapist assistant programs. A certified athletic trainer, he was the athletic trainer for the 1984 football team, which won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship, and the 2004 women's basketball team, which brought home the NCAA Division II national championship title.

Barnhart transitioned to University administration in 2008. He spent four years as associate provost and eight years as Cal U’s chief academic officer.

“I’ve accomplished more than I ever could have imagined when I started at Cal U,” Barnhart said. “But as President Jones said in her own retirement announcement, even good things must come to an end. My wife (Mary Jo ’84) and I are ready for a change.”

University President Geraldine Jones, who preceded Barnhart as provost, expressed deep appreciation for her fellow alumnus.

“I certainly will miss my good friend and colleague in the challenging months ahead,” said Jones, who plans to retire in January. “Bruce shares my ‘students first’ philosophy, and it has guided us both as we worked side by side on behalf of our alma mater.”

Jones has appointed Dr. Daniel Engstrom to serve as interim provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, beginning in July.

Engstrom taught for seven years in the Applied Engineering and Technology Department and was associate dean in the College of Education and Human Services for three years. He has been the associate vice president for Academic Success since 2012.