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Board OKs emeritus status for faculty, property transactions, 2019-20 officers


Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Board of Directors on Thursday approved emeritus status for two recently retired faculty members, authorized the college administration to proceed with two real estate transactions, approved parameters for the college’s state budget request for 2020-21 and reelected its officers for 2019-20.

The slate of reelected officers is: Sen. Gene Yaw, chair; Robert N. Pangborn, vice chair; and Joseph J. Doncsecz, treasurer. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour will continue as secretary to the board, Senior Vice President for Finance/CFO Suzanne T. Stopper remains assistant treasurer, and Valerie A. Baier, administrative assistant to the president, continues as assistant secretary to the board. (Secretaries and assistants need not be members of the Board of Directors.)

The faculty emeritus designation was approved for Sandra Lakey, associate professor of speech communication-composition, and Thomas J. Mulfinger, associate professor of building construction technology. Both retired in August.

Thursday's Board of Directors meeting encapsulated for college communityThe board approved the purchase and demolition of a blighted property at 942 First St., adjacent to the Student & Administrative Services Center. It also granted authority to the president and the college’s chief financial officer to sell a parcel of land on West Third Street that the college is not using to UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc., which will enable the utility to make better use of its parking lot. UGI will handle surveying and deed work, Stopper said.

In other business, the board approved parameters for its 2020-21 state budget request, which is made through The Pennsylvania State University. The request includes a $28.34 million state appropriation – 6% more than 2019-20. All of the parameters are subject to change.

Four college employees were authorized by the board to transact college business with First National Bank: Gilmour, Stopper, Carolyn R. Strickland (vice president for enrollment management/associate provost) and William P. Kiessling II (manager of treasury operations). The only new designee is Kiessling, who replaces a retiring employee in Financial Operations.

Presentations were made to the board by Shannon M. Munro, vice president for workforce development, who addressed the “MIDAS” federal apprenticeship grant program; Tom J. Venditti, director of WEDnetPA, who spoke about the incumbent worker skills-training program; Craig A. Miller, chair of College Council, who provided updates on the Internal Governance System; and Mark Stevenson, CFA, vice president and senior portfolio manager for Wilmington Trust, who reported on the performance of the college’s investments.

Munro noted that Penn College and its grant partner, New Jersey Institute of Technology, received $8 million to develop programs serving 3,200 apprentices over the four years of the grant. Training is in six core technical occupations within advanced manufacturing.

Venditti spoke of the college’s significant role in providing skill-building training for employees in manufacturing technology and health care statewide. Annually, Penn College and other education providers train 20,000 to 30,000 individuals representing 700 to 750 companies. The training encompasses both essential skills and technical skills.

For 2019-20, WEDnetPA’s average educational partner allocation is $407,131; Penn College’s allocation is $718,580. In addition to serving as one of the educational partners, Penn College serves as fiscal agent to the other WEDnetPA partners.

Miller said much of the past year in Internal Governance was devoted to reviewing reports for the college’s 107 academic programs, as well as exploring ways to become more efficient, particularly with the conducting of meetings. He said Internal Governance’s four standing committees probably have fewer vacancies now than at any time in the past 10 years.

In 2019-20, Governance will look at support services available to distance learning students and make a recommendation for enhancing those services, Miller said.

Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs/provost, updated the board on new faculty members for 2019-20. He noted the group has a combined 252 years of industry-relevant experience and a total of 106 years of teaching experience.

In her comments to the board, Gilmour said this weekend is Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend at the college, with 1,100 parents/family members registered. Registered alumni and guests total 423, which is double the total for the 2018 event.

The next regularly scheduled Penn College Board of Directors meeting is Dec. 12.

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