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Board OKs Hiring of Academic VP/Provost, Property Purchase

In a special conference-call meeting on Monday, the Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors approved the hiring of Paul L. Starkey as vice president for academic affairs/provost and authorized the purchase of a property on Vine Avenue in Williamsport.

Starkey, who comes to Penn College from Delta State University, where he has served most recently as chair of the Division of Management, Marketing and Business Administration, and a professor of management in the College of Business, will begin his Penn College duties on July 1.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour said Starkey’s experience and qualifications ensure there will be little or no learning curve required.

“I think he’s the ideal person for us,” she said.

Board of Directors' meeting summarized for Penn College communityVeronica M. Muzic, special assistant to the president for academic affairs − who chaired the search committee and served as vice president for academic affairs herself for many years − offered high praise for Starkey’s abilities and said numerous reference calls resulted in “no red flags.” She said the references who were contacted offered support for Starkey’s work ethic and his status as an academician and campus leader. “He wowed us,” Muzic told the board.

“He’s pretty much done all of the pieces of the position as it exists on this campus,” Muzic added. “In short, we think we have found a good academic vice president/provost who will thrive and survive.”

Board Chairman Robert E. Dunham said Starkey will be a good fit for the position, adding he should quickly assimilate to the culture of the college.

Gilmour noted Starkey expects to return here a couple times before his starting date to coordinate housing arrangements and to ensure he can devote his full energies to the job as of July 1. “I think he’s equally excited as we are,” she said.

Starkey has been employed at Delta State University since 1986 in a variety of roles, including chair of entrepreneurship in business technology, dean of graduate and continuing studies and director of continuing education. He has also worked as a consultant and trainer.

He holds a Ph.D. in business administration-management and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Delta State University.

In other business, the board authorized the college administration to purchase the Masden car-wash property at 1148 Vine Ave.

The sale is contingent upon the college receiving approval from the city’s Zoning Hearing Board for some minor zoning exceptions, said William J. Martin, senior vice president.

If the sale is completed, the college expects to move its masonry labs to the Vine Avenue site, allowing labs/instructional areas for the recently approved two-year renewable energy major to move to the area formerly occupied by masonry in the Carl Building Technologies Center.

Gilmour added, “This will allow us to capitalize on a very popular degree.”

The board also approved the designation of Jersey Shore State Bank as an authorized depository for college funds.

Suzanne T. Stopper, vice president for finance/chief financial officer, said the action spreads the risk for the college’s cash holdings and will result in a guarantee of at least a 1.15-percent interest rate with liquidity.

In her concluding remarks to the board, Gilmour said she is “very pleased” with the enrollment figures for Spring 2010 and with the projected enrollment for the fall semester.

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