The interim President provides updates on integration and fall re-opening in her first in-person remarks since taking on her new leadership role at Cal U.
Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, Cal U’s interim President, welcomed faculty and staff back to campus at a gathering Sept. 14 in the Convocation Center.
It was her first opportunity to address the group in person since becoming interim president in July 2021.
“We’ve had a smooth fall return, and we are already into our fourth week,” the President said. “Our goal is to keep everyone safe by wearing masks indoors. We do it because we want to be good neighbors.”
Dr. Dale updated employees on the Western Integration involving Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro, including the status of Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation; a decision on the status of NCAA sports, expected next spring; and faculty and staff organizational structures.
She also provided an update of interest to many: A name for the new university is expected to be revealed in mid-October.
Following that announcement, students will vote for the logo designs associated with the new university and its campus locations.
“It will be nice to be able to call us what we are, instead of ‘New U’ or ‘Western Integration,’” Dr. Dale said.
TWO STAFF MEMBERS HONORED
The interim President also presented the Vulcan Staff Awards, which are given at the start of the fall and spring semesters. Recipients are chosen by a committee led by Eric Guiser, associate vice president for Human Resources.
William “A.J.” Best, from the TRIO and Academic Services Department, received the Vulcan Exceptional Service Award, which recognizes superior customer service to students, parents, employees and members fo the community.
Mike Miles, assistant chief of University Police, received the Vulcan President’s Circle Award for outstanding job performance.
Best received glowing descriptions during the nomination process: He “was once a TRIO student himself, so he is very in touch with the unique needs of the students we serve, as well as helping to implement ways to overcome barriers and ensure the best outcomes,” one nominator said.
Serving students is at the heart of his work.
“I would like to thank the TRIO Upward Bound faculty for nominating me for this award,” Best said. “It’s an honor to be considered and recognized. The most important thing to me is our dedication to the success and excellence of each of our TRIO students. #TRIOWorks.”
Miles started work at Cal U in 1998.
“I came to Cal U with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Edinboro University, which is pretty cool now that we are merging,” he said.
Since joining the Cal U police force, he has improved campus safety by helping with a transition to an armed police force; writing grants for upgraded radio equipment, an all-terrain vehicle, a thermal imaging camera and upgraded radio equipment; securing equipment and support for Cal U’s K9 unit; and helping to develop the University’s bike patrol.
“The award that was presented today came as a shock,” Miles said. “But it proved that the University acknowledges reliable, dedicated and hard-working employees, which summarizes many Cal U employees who also deserve this acknowledgement today.
“Together we all form a team, and I am one piece of that team that brings it together. It should be me thanking the University for providing me with a rewarding career and all that goes with that. I am grateful and humbled for the recognition.”