Editor’s Note: Retired Clarion University of Pennsylvania president Diane L. Reinhard was appointed interim president of IUP in January. Information about her background appeared in the Winter-Spring issue of IUP Magazine. A national search for a new president is expected to conclude by the end of the fall semester.
Surprised though I was by the invitation to become IUP’s interim president, I was also delighted at the prospect of serving a university whose special qualities I had admired from a distance. In my thirteen years as president of Clarion University, there had been many opportunities for collaboration with IUP faculty, staff, and students. I was impressed then by IUP’s academic quality and the distinctive role it plays in the commonwealth. Now, from a much closer vantage point, I am no less impressed.
This is a challenging time for IUP, but it is also exciting. By no means do I see this interim period as a time for standing still. We are moving ahead on several fronts, focusing particularly on Middle States reaccreditation, on long-range campus residential plans, on development and fund-raising, and, above all, on serving our students. Progress in all these areas will be critical in preparing for transition to a new president.
In January, IUP welcomed John Cavendish, the first director of the IUP Research Institute. With the efficiencies the institute will afford, the university can look forward to increased activity in the areas of sponsored research, external grants, and contracts.
Prior to my arrival, groundwork had been laid to improve campus life by transforming our residence halls into contemporary student housing. I have commissioned a major study to move us toward this goal. We also anticipate the transformation of Cogswell, Fisher, and Waller halls. Building projects that will get under way at the Armstrong and Punxsutawney branch campuses will mirror dramatic new directions in the missions and focuses of those campuses. (More about the Armstrong Campus appears in this issue of the magazine.)
As you may know, IUP is committed to raise matching funds for the Regional Development Center. This is an excellent opportunity not only to leverage state funds for further university development but also to support significant economic development in both the commonwealth and the community of Indiana. In order to bolster the university’s fund-raising capability for this and other vital projects, I have appointed Matthew Hughes ’89 to serve as interim vice president for Institutional Advancement/executive director of the Foundation for IUP.
On virtually every front—curriculum modification, private resource development, information management, research expansion, and marketing the university—IUP is preparing to meet and to master the challenges of the coming decade. As the university’s interim president, I won’t be here to see many of these plans carried out. But it is my goal to maintain the university’s momentum toward their realization.