Skip to main content

Board approves property purchase, parameters for state budget request

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday ratified a previous unanimous-consent action for the purchase of a city property, approved parameters for the college’s 2022-23 state budget request and reelected its slate of officers for 2021-22.

The college acquired residential property at 1113-1115 Vine Ave. in Williamsport on Aug. 5 after a June 14 unanimous consent action taken by the Board of Directors. The action was formally ratified by the board at Thursday’s meeting.

The college is seeking permission from the City of Williamsport to demolish the structure; it is not deemed feasible for any institutional function. Long-term plans have called for development of the parcel in support of the college’s mission.

The board approved a request for a 2022-23 state appropriation of $28,072,800, a 5% increase over 2021-22. The college’s request is submitted along with the request for Penn State. The current parameters may change before being finalized.

The board reelected its current slate of officers for 2021-22. They are: Sen. Gene Yaw, chair; Robert N. Pangborn, vice chair; and Joseph J. Doncsecz, treasurer. President Davie Jane Gilmour will continue as secretary to the board; Suzanne T. Stopper, senior vice president for finance/CFO, remains as assistant treasurer; and Valerie A. Baier, coordinator of President’s Office operations, continues as assistant secretary to the board. (Secretaries and assistants need not be actual members of the Board of Directors.)

The board also heard several presentations on Thursday.

Stopper provided the board with an update for investments managed by Wilmington Trust as of June 30.  Investment performance was strong for the fiscal year, driving a 28% increase in assets. “We’re really happy to report we had significant returns this year,” she told the board.

Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations, presented to the board on the new Center for Career Design. The center, which officially opened Feb. 1, serves the needs of students, alumni and industry partners. Located on the third floor of the Madigan Library, the center includes interview rooms, a student business center and photo station, as well as networking and open conference spaces.

In its first year, the center has tallied 8,000 student interactions, engaged with more than half of the college’s student body, and hosted 240 companies for campus tours through Corporate Relations, Kline said.

New offerings include the Wildcat Alumni Career Mentoring Program – 103 alumni have signed on, Kline said – alumni career panels for students, a guest interviewer program and employer recruitment days.

Thursday's board meeting recapped for Penn College community“They (employers) want to get in front of our students, and they want to hire them,” she said.

Brian J. Schurr, chair of College Council, provided an update on Internal Governance’s 2020-21 activities. His report noted that Governance’s bylaws were revised and approved in September 2020, an informational report from President’s Council was added to each monthly agenda, several members participated in the Middle States Commission on Higher Education review process in preparation for the upcoming site visit, and a member of the Student Government Association continues to attend monthly Executive Committee meetings.

The 2021 election results are: Matthew D. Krepps, faculty from aviation maintenance, chair-elect; and Linda L. Locher, faculty from counseling services, vice chair. They will assume their duties in April 2022. All seats, with the exception of one part-time staff member, have been filled for the 2021-22 academic year.

For 2021-22, goals include preparing for the upcoming Self-Study in Fall 2022, working to expand efforts to increase awareness and interest in Governance, and undertaking new efforts to streamline the transition process for new members of the Governance system, starting with the chair positions.

Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs/provost, presented an information item to the board on new faculty for the 2021-22 Academic Year.

Penn College welcomed four new full-time faculty members this fall, filling essential roles in automation & robotics (electronics), information technology, physics and communications. All of them bring significant relevant experiences to their roles, and they are making an immediate impact on students and departments, Reed said. Combined, they reflect 35 years’ teaching experience and more than 18 years of relevant industry practice – including a former submarine engineering officer for the U.S. Navy and civilian systems engineer, and a database developer for a Fortune 500 company. Two have earned doctorates, and two have received master’s degrees within their respective fields.

Joanna K. Flynn, dean of curriculum and instruction, created a comprehensive, two-semester orientation program to ensure new faculty have the support and development they need to be successful, and school and departmental leaders are providing effective mentoring support, Reed added.

In her remarks, Gilmour reported that this week’s Career Fair attracted a capacity 237 employers to the Field House and Bardo Gym, and half of the companies brought Penn College alumni employees with them. A total of 1,458 students participated, with half of them visiting employer booths at both locations.

Gilmour noted the event was held in-person this time after a virtual event was staged last time, due to pandemic protocols.

“We’re very happy, on behalf of our students, to see them (employers) get here,” she said.

Gilmour also informed the board about various grants the college has received, including a $450,000 U.S. Department of Education Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success grant. The college currently has 262 veteran students, the president said.

She also informed the board that the college’s new administrative partners in the $8 million federal MIDAS (Modular, Industry-Driven Apprenticeship Strategies) grant are the Tennessee Board of Regents and the Community College Workforce Alliance.

In his remarks, Yaw encouraged the board to participate in an upcoming Penn College Foundation Dinner & Auction fundraising event on Oct. 29. “It’s a fun time,” Yaw said of the event, which raised more than $100,000 when last held in 2019.

The next regularly scheduled Penn College Board of Directors meeting is Dec. 9.

Subscribe to PCToday Daily Email