To our faculty, staff and students, A new phase of our collective journey begins today as I take on the momentous task of leading all three Western Integration campuses. It is an honor and a privilege to assume this responsibility.
As president of Clarion, interim president of Edinboro and – as of today – interim president of Cal U, I am excited about our future. Together we are engaged in building a new enterprise that will reshape public higher education in Pennsylvania. Without a doubt, this is a historic moment for our campuses, the State System and all three of our campus communities.
Each of our schools has a proud history and a unique campus culture. We are indeed "sister" institutions, united as one family yet individual in personality and style. What matters most is what we have in common: strength, resilience, and a commitment to empowering our students to enrich their communities by building great careers and fulfilling lives.
I look forward to meeting more of my Cal U colleagues in the next few weeks and getting to know you better. As your counterparts at Clarion and Edinboro already know, I am an avid bicyclist, so you may see me rolling through the quad or pedaling the Loop Road on my new bike, "Rosie," as I get to know the campus.
Before long I will settle into a routine, sharing my time among our three campuses. Leadership is not just about the president, it's about the presidency, which encompasses campus leaders with a wide range of expertise.
Later this week you'll hear more about our leadership structure, including plans for a "campus administrator" at each location to deal with emergencies, participate in ceremonial events and represent the president as needed. I am very confident that with strong local leadership, we will settle into a comfortable rhythm.
I want to thank Robert Thorn for his service to Cal U during the past six months. He was asked to step in as interim president during a time of great change and uncertainty, and he willingly accepted the challenge. His efforts have strengthened our partnership and positioned Cal U for a successful fall semester. We all owe him a debt of gratitude, and I am glad that he will continue to serve our new institution as senior vice president and chief operations officer (COO).
I also am grateful to everyone who was involved in the integration planning. I realize that you sacrificed a good deal of personal time as you balanced integration tasks with your campus responsibilities, all in the midst of a pandemic.
Finally, thank you to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends for embarking on this historic journey with me. Your dedication, talent and energy are essential to our success. Let's move forward together.