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Pennsylvania College of Technology names new president

Following a national search, Pennsylvania College of Technology has chosen Michael J. Reed to lead the institution as its eighth president, effective July 1.

The Penn College Board of Directors on Wednesday approved the choice of Reed, the college’s vice president for academic affairs and provost, after an extensive search process led by Storbeck Search, of Media. He will succeed longtime President Davie Jane Gilmour, who has announced that she will retire on June 30.

A native of Glenshaw, a Pittsburgh suburb, Reed is one of 10 siblings and a first-generation college student. He was selected from a group of three finalists for the position who met with students, faculty and staff in December.

Reed (right), with President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, who, as board chair, moved Reed's nomination to the floor for a vote.
Reed (right), with President Davie Jane Gilmour and state Sen. Gene Yaw, who, as board chair, moved Reed’s nomination to the floor for a vote.

Reed has extensive experience in higher education and secondary education. Before being named vice president for academic affairs and provost – the chief academic officer for Penn College, responsible for overseeing the delivery of 100-plus academic programs and leading more than 600 employees in the college’s Academic Affairs Division – he served as vice president for academic operations and associate provost; dean of the former School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications; and assistant dean of liberal arts and sciences.

Previously, he served as head principal at Williamsport Area High School and as principal at the SciTech Campus of Harrisburg High School, which offers an honors-level college preparatory experience to a select group of highly motivated students. He also was principal of the former William Penn Alternative School, which served high-risk students in the Harrisburg area.

Prior to that, he was a school counselor in the Upper Dauphin Area School District and a teacher and counselor for Abraxas Youth & Family Services, Marienville.

Reed holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Drexel University, a Master of Education in Counseling and Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Michael J. ReedHe also earned a Post-Master Certificate in School Administration from Penn State, and he completed a nine-month Executive Leadership Series training offered by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

State Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors and the Presidential Search Committee, said Reed is the ideal candidate to succeed Gilmour, who has been president of Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, since May 4, 1998.

“Under the bold and steady leadership of President Gilmour, Penn College has established itself as a national leader in applied technology education,” Yaw said. “Her shoes cannot be filled. Instead, we look to President Reed to pilot the next stage of the college’s success, accelerating upon the trajectory she has set.”

Reed said he is honored and humbled to accept the presidential appointment.

“The talent, passion and expertise on this campus is truly inspiring,” Reed said. “Collectively, we will seek untapped opportunities, embrace change and solve complex challenges in order to continually improve. Industry is in need of more Penn College graduates, and I look forward to working closely with our board, faculty and staff – as well as our community and industry leaders – to ensure we are maximizing opportunities so that our students are well-prepared to enter and advance within high-demand career fields.

“I love our mission, what we represent and the opportunities we create for our next generation of tomorrow makers. I am ‘all in,’ and I will do everything I can to maximize our collective expertise in order to place our students in the most competitive position for long-term success. What President Gilmour has accomplished throughout her tenure is nothing short of extraordinary, and I am grateful for the high expectations and culture of continual improvement keenly established on our campus.”

Reed is joined by wife Christina Steinbacher-Reed, executive director of BLaST Intermediate Unit #17, and daughter Cali. The couple's son, Gavin, missed the board meeting to honor a commitment to his Williamsport Area High School wrestling teammates.
Reed is joined by wife Christina Steinbacher-Reed, executive director of BLaST Intermediate Unit #17, and daughter Cali. The couple’s son, Gavin, missed the board meeting to honor a commitment to his Williamsport Area High School wrestling teammates.

Reed’s community leadership affiliations include serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and in a similar capacity for The Salvation Army, Williamsport, where he also serves as that organization’s vice chair.

His community volunteer engagement included coaching roles in the NorCenPenn Youth Soccer League, the American Youth Soccer Organization and the John Bower Basketball League.

The search for a new president began after Gilmour announced in May 2021 her intention to retire after 24 years at the helm of the institution.

In June, a Presidential Search Committee was appointed. Later that month, Storbeck Search, an executive search firm specializing in leadership hiring for colleges and universities, was tapped to coordinate the process.

Penn College traces its beginnings to 1914, as part of adult-training efforts coordinated at Williamsport High School. Subsequently, that foundation became formalized as Williamsport Technical Institute (1941-65) and Williamsport Area Community College (1965-89).

On July 1, 1989, Pennsylvania College of Technology was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Corporation for Penn State by Act 27 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. For more, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor

 

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