More Than a Caretaker
(In June, Tony Atwater was selected to serve as a senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a national public higher education advocacy group in Washington, D.C. He left the IUP presidency on June 30. Earlier that month, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors named David Werner, emeritus chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, as IUP’s interim president, effective August 1. Werner served as interim president of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania during the 2005–2006 academic year and as IUP’s interim provost during the 2007–2008 academic year. He will be in the interim role of president of IUP through June 30, 2012.)
I greatly enjoyed my tenure as IUP’s interim provost, due in great part to the warmth, energy, and commitment of IUP’s faculty, staff, alumni, and students. IUP is a very special institution, and my wife, Kay, and I are delighted to rejoin the IUP family and the Indiana community.
I am not surprised to see that IUP’s enrollment is on track to break records for the second consecutive year. Its reputation for academic excellence is well deserved, as IUP’s faculty and students continue to earn impressive academic distinctions, including sixty faculty and eleven student Fulbright Scholarships (two in the last year); five Goldwater Scholarships in the past seven years; and international faculty teaching awards. Faculty members earned $15 million in external research funding during fiscal 2008–2009 and authored one hundred published works and contributions to academic journals in addition to full-time teaching responsibilities. The value of an IUP degree continues to grow, as IUP alumni make immeasurable contributions to the communities in which they reside and to their chosen professions.
Because of the productivity of the faculty and the extraordinary work of its current and former students, it is not surprising to see IUP recognized with glowing reviews in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges guidebooks for nine consecutive years, selection for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and inclusion in the Washington Monthly’s rankings of schools based on their contributions to society.
So much is very, very right about IUP. Without question, these successes are the result of hard work by a university community that cares deeply about this institution.
I have made a pledge to be more than a “caretaker” president during my time here, and I will honor that promise. Standing still is not an option. IUP must move ever forward.
Everyone is keenly aware that public higher education—including IUP—faces serious financial challenges. My firm intention is to address those challenges in a careful, collaborative, and strategic way, without losing sight of the fundamental core mission of this university: maintaining our status as a leading public doctoral/research university, committed to undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarship, and public service.
Thank you for welcoming me back to IUP.
More from the Summer 2010 Issue of IUP Magazine
The 2009–2010 men’s basketball team won more games than any other and competed on nationwide television for the Division II crown.
In six decades, the ROTC program at IUP has produced nearly two thousand U.S. Army second lieutenants, not to mention eight generals.
Legacy Gala, Ruddock Hall, who’s in that photo, and more
Highlights about IUP faculty members, past and present
The latest IUP player to be picked in the NFL draft, plus other newsworthy IUP athletes
IUP Magazine Web Exclusives
June 30, 2010
What distinguishes our Western Pennsylvania dialect?
May 12, 2010
Promoting Native American awareness at IUP.
April 21, 2010
Explore the 270 acres of the Co-op Recreational Park and the IUP Sailing Base at Yellow Creek State Park.