Clarion University has appointed Dr. Colleen A. McAleer as interim executive dean of Venango College, Oil City.
The executive dean position will become vacant with the July 1 departure of Dr. Christopher Reber, who has accepted the presidency of the Community College of Beaver County. McAleer will take the position on an interim basis beginning July 1, while a national search is conducted for a new executive dean.
“This is an opportunity for me to provide leadership for Venango College, a college with faculty and staff who have a tremendous amount of vision, energy, vitality and enthusiasm for a quality educational experience,” said McAleer, who currently chairs the department of communication sciences and disorders.
“Dr. McAleer, a longtime faculty member at Clarion, brings experience and skills to the position that will enable Venango College to continue being an integral part of both Clarion University and the Oil City community,” said Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, provost.
McAleer said she’s excited to work with students, faculty and staff at Venango College and the entire university, as well as to have the opportunity to interact with the Venango community and build on the success of the college.
“I look forward to getting to know the community and to looking at the needs of the region and the majors we currently offer and see if there are other programs that will be beneficial to the students, the university and the region,” McAleer said. “We have the newly created face-to-face Bachelor of Science in Nursing and online Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, and successful implementation of those programs will be a priority.”
McAleer currently is shadowing Reber, and she is anxious to continue the work he began at Venango.
“(Reber) has worked so hard and provided such a solid foundation that the momentum he created should – and will – continue with the structure already in place,” she said. “I’m not intimidated by the thought of hard work, and I will do the best job I can to rise to the challenges and meet the expectations of those looking to me for leadership.”
McAleer started at Clarion University in 1982 as assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 1985 and full professor in 1990. In 1999, she was elected chair of the department of communication sciences and disorders. Under McAleer’s leadership, the departmental undergraduate enrollment has increased from fewer than 100 students in fall 1999 to more than 300 students in fall 2013. Enrollment in the speech language pathology graduate program has also grown significantly. McAleer guided the department through two major specialized accreditation reviews.
McAleer graduated in 1973 from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She finished her master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1975 at Clarion University and earned her doctorate degree in audiology in 1979 at Kent State University.
She is a 36-year member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and 32-year member of both Pennsylvania Speech and Hearing Association and American Auditory Society. She has been Pennsylvania-licensed to practice audiology and speech pathology since 1984.
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