Clarion University Council of Trustees presented a resolution of appreciation to former President Karen M. Whitney during their Sept. 21 meeting. Whitney, who was Clarion’s president for seven years, left Sept. 11 to assume the post of interim chancellor of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
"The Council of Trustees expresses its deepest appreciation to President Karen M. Whitney for seven years of distinguished service to Clarion University and the commonwealth state system as a change agent and ambassador for university presidents," the resolution stated.
The trustees noted many of the initiatives Whitney led, including preparation of a strategic plan, reorganization and streamlining of the academic structure, implementation of new budgeting and accountability systems, reaffirmation of Clarion's Middle States accreditation and addition of new academic programs. Under her leadership, Clarion expanded access to advance the skills and education of the nursing profession through the study of leadership, policy, population health and clinical skills.
The resolution cites Whitney's leadership in rebuilding enrollment, which increased this year for the first time since 2009, and praises her as a "driving force of the university's greater focus on reinventing a broadly oriented state university as a very intentional, highly qualified professional university that meets the needs of the students and the changing economy."
Whitney's commitment to high quality, efficient and sustainable academic and auxiliary facilities was also noted, as was her adoption of community living in the university's suite-style housing.
During Whitney's tenure, she began a new tradition with the first observance of Founders Day Sept. 10, 2010. This year, on her final Founders Day as president, she launched Clarion's year-long sesquicentennial celebration.
The trustees additionally thanked Whitney's wife, Dr. Peggy Apple, and their dog, Clare, named for the university, for their dedication and commitment.