Season of Change: The New Faces in Higher Education

As students head back to school, get caught up on who’s been coming and going in the past months at the helm of these colleges and universities in western Pennsylvania.

California University of Pennsylvania
Geraldine M. Jones
Interim President
• Started in 2012 as acting president; became interim president in 2013
• Age: 64
• Background highlights: at Cal U, stabilized enrollment and utilized business practices in operating the university; former program director for Upward Bound; served as the chairwoman of Department of Academic Development Services, associate dean of the College of Education and Human Services; served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; received the Black Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award and Community Service Award from Minority Students Association at Penn State-Fayette
• Challenges: continuing to improve campus housing and shared governance; helping with launch of first doctoral program in spring 2016


Carlow University
Suzanne Mellon

• Started in 2013
• Age: 63
• Background highlights: served as dean of the College of Health Professions and McAuley School of Nursing at University of Detroit Mercy; executive vice president of Saint Anselm College; received the “Integrity Matters” award from the College of Health Professions Honor Council at University of Detroit Mercy and the Symond Gottlieb Award for Outstanding Health Care Leadership from the Greater Detroit Area Health Care Council
• Challenges: educating the workforce that is needed for tomorrow, as well as developing the competencies, critical skills, and strong ethical base needed to address an ever-evolving economy in a changing world.  Providing access to an affordable education for those who want to advance their life, their family, and the life of the community.


Carnegie Mellon University
Subra Suresh

• Started in 2013
• Age: 59
• Background highlights: served as dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; holds 11 honorary doctorate degrees from universities in the United States and abroad; selected as a top-10 researcher by Technology Review Magazine in 2006; helped to create the MIT Transportation Initiative and the Center for Computational Engineering; led MIT’s efforts in establishing the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center; at National Science Foundation, established INSPIRE, PEER research program in collaboration with U.S. Agency for International Development and the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative, among other creations
• Challenges: putting more funding into arts and humanities research; expanding the campus along Forbes Avenue


Chatham University
Esther L. Barazzone

• Started in 1992; retiring in 2016
• Age: 69
• Background highlights: helped to rename the Ninth Street Bridge, now the Rachel Carson Bridge, in 2006; helped Chatham to gain official university status in 2007; during her tenure, added graduate programs through the doctoral level and created a Division III athletic program; created Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics, the Rachel Carson Institute, the Global Focus program and the Falk School of Sustainability; oversaw building of Eden Hall
• Challenges: instituting co-ed education while preserving a commitment to women’s education and leadership; updating the curriculum; increasing the number of first-time, first-year students


Community College of Allegheny County
Quintin B. Bullock

• Started in 2014
• Age: 57
• Background highlights: taught at Houston Community College; provost of the Norfolk and Virginia Beach campuses of Tidewater Community College; former director of the Center for Urban Education Studies at Monroe Community College; hired in 2009 as president of Schenectady Community College
• Challenges: increasing job placement for graduates; giving more affordable tuition to rising military and veteran enrollment; looking into adding classes at Donora satellite campus


Duquesne University
Charles Dougherty

• Started in 2001; retiring in 2016
• Age: 66
• Background highlights: achieved historic student enrollment, selectivity and diversity; surpassed Advancing Our Legacy Campaign $150 million goal; first new construction in 10-plus years (multipurpose recreation center, residence hall); initiated nation’s first university-owned, community-based pharmacy; advanced school's Spiritan mission and ties to Africa
• Challenges: growing research efforts as grant funding tightens; bolstering the school's $457 million financial impact in the region


Geneva College
William J. Edgar

interim President
• Started in 2015
• Age: 69
• Background highlights: past chair of Geneva’s Board of Trustees and its Board of Corporators; chaired the Board of Trustees of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary; conducted dissertation research in Greece with aid of a Fulbright grant; is a former pastor; taught mathematics in West Chester, Pa.
• Challenges: strengthening connections with surrounding communities; improving on- and off-campus communication to sharpen Geneva's identity as a Christian college; continuing to make education convenient, affordable and career-building


Grove City College
Paul J. McNulty

• Started in 2014
• Age: 57
• Background highlights: served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2001-2005; appointed in 2006 as the deputy attorney general of the United States during President George W. Bush's administration; left in 2007 to join the law firm of Baker & McKenzie LLP, now of counsel there
• Challenges: closing the college's largest and most successful capital campaign; increasing awareness of the commitment to cultivating the Christian worldview; expanding the academic program to better serve students and the community, and ensuring high return on investment for students


Penn State University
Eric J. Barron

• Started in 2014
• Age: 63
• Background highlights: taught at the University of Miami and Penn State University; held various positions at the National Science Foundation, NASA and United States National Research Council; served as the President of Florida State University from 2010-2014
• Challenges: settling the remaining aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal; increasing university’s digital security after two cyberattacks; working through fiscal challenges related to tuition, intercollegiate sports and research costs


Robert Morris University
David Jamison

Interim President and Provost
• Started at the university in 2002; became interim president in 2015
• Age: 71
• Background highlights: RMU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs since 2008; dean of the School of Communication and Information Systems from 2002-2008; led RMU to full re-accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education; worked to earn accreditations for business, engineering, education, nursing, nuclear medicine and actuarial science and re-accreditation in computing; instrumental in reviving the Colonial Theatre program and student newspaper, creating RMU Radio and creating the RMU Center for Documentary Production and Study; and leading RMU to earn its first programmatic external accreditation, for computing, from ABET-CAC
• Challenges: opening new building for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences; carrying out plans for multipurpose event center


Seton Hill University
Mary C. Finger

• Started in 2014
• Age: 56
• Background highlights: spent nine years as senior vice president for advancement at DePaul University; spent nine years as vice president for planning and institutional advancement at Mount Mary University; director of development for the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University; acting executive director and director of development for the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Foundation
• Challenges: completing construction of campus expansion projects and developing campus master plan; growing undergrad and graduate programs; expanding student access to study-away, internship and service learning opportunities and enhancing student-engagement opportunities


University of Pittsburgh
Patrick D. Gallagher

• Started in 2014
• Age: 51
• Background highlights: served as director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2009; undersecretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology in 2010; acting deputy secretary of commerce with the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013; awarded with Gold Medal for leadership in interagency coordination efforts by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2006; received honorary doctor of public service degree from Pitt in 2013; received honorary doctor of science degree from Saint Vincent College in 2014; member of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
• Challenges: building on past chancellor’s collaboration with UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University, the City of Pittsburgh and the state; continuing to encourage fundraising from private donors; dealing with rising cost of tuition; focusing on government and economic opportunity as well as education


West Virginia University
E. Gordon Gee

• Started in 2014
• Age: 71
• Background highlights: associate dean in the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University; dean of the WVU College of Law (named president one year later); former president at the University of Colorado, Brown University, Vanderbilt University and twice at The Ohio State University; named one of the 10 best U.S. college presidents by Time Magazine in 2009; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; received the distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Utah and Teachers College of Columbia University
• Challenges: guiding the university through $1 billion in construction projects (improved research labs and student housing); increasing student enrollment and creating a campus culture that puts students first; advancing the university’s research agenda; working with West Virginians to improve lives and communities


Categories: Education