Trustees Welcome New Members

Dec 02, 2021

A new logo for PennWest, an annual auditor report and updates from other divisions are part of the quarterly meeting of the Cal U Council of Trustees.

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At its final meeting of 2021, Cal U’s Council of Trustees welcomed two new members and heard a positive update from auditors.

Interim President Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson presented proclamations honoring outgoing trustees Robin Betza and Sean Logue for their service to the university. Their seats will be filled by Byron Kirk Holman, a retiree from California, Pa., and Barbara Logue, an education professional from Pittsburgh who attended her first meeting as a trustee.

Chair James Davis and other trustees also thanked Maria Dovshek for her work as the student member of the council. She will graduate Dec. 11 with a degree in communication studies.

Jared Clark, a CPA with CliftonLarsonAllen, presented the results of the annual examination of the University’s budget process and financial controls, reporting no problems with the University’s internal processes.

“Amid COVID, integration and many other duties, management has been very responsive” during the annual audit, Clark said.

In her presentation, interim University President Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson briefed the council on the selection of a wordmark design for Pennsylvania Western University, the name chosen for the integrated university set to debut in July.

Nearly 5,000 Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro students cast their votes for one of three options created by an in-house design team. Watch the video to see the design revealed to the campus community on Dec. 2.

The selection process was “one example of how we are a student-centered University and how we will continue to seek student input” as integration proceeds, Dr. Dale said.

She also shared a few “points of pride” for the fall semester, including the accreditation of education programs by CAEP, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and a Silver Seal designation for student voter engagement.

In other business:

Dr. Daniel Engstrom, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, introduced Dr. Douglas Hoover, dean of Library Services and Undergraduate Research, who highlighted services provided in Manderino Library.

Professor Monica Ruane Rogers and former librarian Terra Rogerson coauthored an article on library outreach for the Journal of Library Outreach & Engagement; Dr. Ryan Sittler and Rogerson co-edited The Library Outreach Cookbook, which outlines outreach strategies for libraries worldwide; and professor William Denny consulted with Marshall University Libraries on developing a digital version of the Government Documents Collection.

T. David Garcia, vice president for Enrollment Management, provided early insights into Fall 2022 enrollment, saying applications are up by 29%.

Cal U’s partnership with ReUp Education, which provides a path to graduation for students who have some college experience but no degree, yielded 61 students in Fall 201.

Work also continues with community colleges to streamline the transfer process. Initiatives include the continued growth of an educational alliance with community colleges that gives students with an associate degree a tuition discount at Cal U; and formation of a PennWest transfer advisory committee.

Fawn Petrosky, vice president for Finance, introduced the audit report and also provided updates to various campus building projects. Design funds for the long-awaited new science complex are expected to be released this fiscal year, with construction anticipated to begin in 2023.

Lawrence Sebek, interim vice president for Student Affairs, introduced Nancy Skobel, associate dean for Student Affairs, who provided trustees with an overview of the services provided by the End Violence Center in the Natali Student Center.

The center’s “Green Dot” prevention strategy is designed to address sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking.

Christine Kindl, vice president for Communications and Marketing, explained the research and market-testing that led to selection of the PennWest name.

A robust percentage of students — 36%, or nearly 5,000 students at Edinboro, Clarion and Cal U — took part in a survey to choose how the name will look on T-shirts, brochures and other branded items. The winning PennWest campus logos include familiar elements such as Cal U’s clock tower and Clarion’s golden eagle.

“Each one — PennWest Clarion, PennWest Edinboro and PennWest California — incorporates a bit of campus tradition,” Kindl said.

Anthony Mauro, vice president for University Development and Alumni Affairs and campus administrator, provided a fund-raising update, with year-to-date donations that are 20% above the division’s 10-year average.

“Our integrated university will have an alumni base of 180,000, and we look forward to building on that while still maintaining traditions and affinity groups unique to Cal U,” he said.

Sheleta Camarda-Webb, interim chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer, rounded out the meeting with a discussion of DEI initiatives and the upcoming System-wide campus climate survey. 

The next quarterly meeting of the Council of Trustees is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 9, 2022.