Faculty Senate: Penn State Expecting to Name New President Soon, Applications Up

Penn State is expecting to name a new president in a matter of weeks according to Keith Masser, Chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

Masser updated the university’s Faculty Senate Tuesday, telling the group he hopes to have a new president named by the November board of trustees meeting.

“The search is moving in a positive trajectory and has attracted a large qualified pool of candidates,” Masser says.

The names of candidates being considered for the position have not been made public. Masser says the process requires strict confidentiality.

However, Masser did say that the search committee has contacted 400 individuals about the position, and 150 people have been asked  to recommend qualified candidates who might be available for the job.

Current university president Rodney Erickson plans to retire no later than June 30, 2014.

Also at the meeting, the Senate voted in favor of a resolution to make childcare a primary mission of the university.

The resolution asks for the faculty senate to work with the university administration to maintain a high quality system of childcare programs on the campus while also being financially responsible.

Also, the resolution asks that employees at the Penn State childcare centers receive equal benefits. It’s hoped that will prevent a high turnover of staff.

Erica Smithwick, a senator from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, proposed the legislation.

“This was very much intended to address all commonwealth campuses as well University Park,” Smithwick says.

Vice President and Provost Nicholas Jones also gave a brief report on current enrollment at Penn State.

The entering baccalaureate class this fall is up 747 students from last year, which is equally split between University Park campus and the commonwealth campuses.

Applications for the 2014-2015 year are also up this year — by 1,900 so far.

Jones says this is representative of a more typical year. Last year applications were down by nine percent.

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