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Board Approves Audit Report, Bids Farewell to Longtime Member

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday accepted the college’s audited financial statements for Fiscal 2016 and authorized an update to a college policy dealing with items requiring board approval.

John Compton and Jonathan Nichols, of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, the college’s independent auditor, reviewed the audit report and associated required communications with the board. The college once again received an unmodified opinion – the highest level of assurance given in an audit – on the college’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30.

The board approved an update to the policy statement (The Role of the Board of Directors) reflecting that individual graduate degrees must come before the board for approval.

In October, the board approved a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies – the first graduate degree program ever to be offered at the institution.

Also at the meeting, it was announced that Robert A. Secor, who has served on the Penn College Board for two decades, including a term as chairman, is retiring. Secor’s successor will be appointed by the Corporation for Penn State. Secor worked at Penn State for 35 years, retiring in 2004 as vice provost for academic affairs.

“We’re going to miss you in that seat,” said Sen. Gene Yaw, board chair, who earlier noted the meeting would be “bittersweet,” with Secor’s departure being balanced with the welcoming of the newest board member, Blannie E. Bowen, vice provost for academic affairs at Penn State.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour presented Secor with a Penn College jacket as a token of appreciation, saying: “We hope you’ll wear it with pride and come back to see us.”

Gilmour also noted it was the last board meeting for President’s Council member David Kay, vice president for college services, who is retiring from his current position. Kay has been employed by the college for 30 years.

Gilmour also told the board that another member of President’s Council, Debbie M. Miller, vice president for institutional advancement, has announced her intention to retire in August 2017.

In her presentation to the board, Mallory L. Weymer, coordinator of student health/wellness education and suicide prevention specialist, spoke about the college’s suicide-prevention efforts, recounted the story of a suicide-attempt survivor, provided sobering national and regional statistics, and noted which populations are most at risk. She concluded with information about suicide-awareness training being offered on campus.

The board was shown a PCToday video on the college’s participation in Army ROTC with the Bucknell University-based Bison Battalion. It was introduced by Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost.

Strickland noted “significant growth” in this year’s cadet class, which increased to 15 first-year students from the previously typical three or four. She and Gilmour both offered how rewarding it is to participate in commissioning ceremonies for the ROTC students who successfully complete the officer-training program.

The board also was shown the currently airing Penn College TV commercial that was produced entirely in-house.

Joseph S. Yoder, associate vice president for public relations and marketing, introduced the 30-second spot, which was conceived and produced by Tom Speicher, writer/video editor, and Carlos Ramos, manager of web development/interactive media. The goal was to employ a fresh approach that distinguishes the piece from those offered by other higher-education institutions. Stephanie M. Puckly, a bachelor-degree welding student, serves as the commercial’s narrator.

The next Penn College Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9.

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