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Gates at the entrance of California University of PennsylvaniaGates at the entrance of California University of Pennsylvania


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Posted on February 9, 2017

To: All students, faculty, staff, alumni Portrait of Geraldine Jones
From: University President Geraldine M. Jones

Earlier today, at our spring convocation for faculty and staff, I spoke about our University’s future.

The prospect of a State System-wide strategic review gives us an opportunity to proactively define our direction as a university. This is our moment to tell the State System, and our future students, that Cal U has a strong and distinctive identity that sets it apart from other universities in our region and across Pennsylvania.

Since the mid-1970s, California has acknowledged a special mission in science and technology. This longstanding special mission can guide our way forward as we re-engineer Cal U for a new generation.

The University’s leadership and management teams, along with deans from our academic Colleges, have begun the process of re-defining our University under this model: 

Guided by our special mission in science and technology, California University of Pennsylvania offers professional, career-focused programs in the arts and sciences, technologies and education that engage students in applied and active learning.

 This definition is supported by well-established practices at our University.

  • Cal U uses technologies as teaching tools and prioritizes technology literacy for faculty, staff and students across disciplines.
  • In response to regional, state and national needs, Cal U promotes innovation and leadership to solve real-world problems and serve society.
  • Cal U combines applied, active learning with a foundation in professional and liberal arts, distinguishing our University from vocational or technical colleges that focus on trade or skill development. 

This approach to Cal U’s future benefits our students by sharpening the focus on programs that blend academic excellence, innovation and applied education to create pathways to the STEM careers of the future.

It benefits the Commonwealth by developing a competent and well-educated workforce to meet employment needs in Pennsylvania’s healthcare and technology corridors and beyond.

And it benefits our University by creating a distinct and sustainable identity that will make Cal U the preferred choice for capable, career-focused students, now and in the years ahead.

Let me offer some reassurances.

To our students: You will be able to complete your degree and graduate from your current academic program. Your University is not stepping away from its historic mission in education, and we recognize that college graduates in every profession benefit from a background in the liberal arts.

Preparing students for career success has always been our goal. Data from numerous sources, including the State System’s “Gap Analysis for Southwestern Pennsylvania,” points to a need for well-educated workers with STEM-related skills. As a Cal U graduate with these vital skills, you are likely to find a wider range of career opportunities, no matter your field of study. 

To our faculty, staff, alumni and students: We welcome your input. The long process of re-defining our University has just begun, and we want to hear your voice. Your intellect, resourcefulness and commitment to excellence are vital to the success of this new approach. In the days ahead, all key stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in organized listening sessions and working groups. I urge you to get involved.

As I said in my “State of the University” address, Cal U inevitably will be a very different place in just five or 10 years. As a campus community, it is time to take our destiny into our own hands. If we embrace this opportunity with wisdom, energy and a united will to succeed, we can ensure a stronger, brighter future for our University.

We must realize that vision together.

Sincerely yours,

Interim President Jones' signature.
Geraldine M. Jones
President, California University of Pennsylvania

Meet President Geraldine M. Jones