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In Brief: Summer 2018

Taking Action on Diversity

In March, the IUP Council of Trustees endorsed the university’s Diversity Action Plan, created by the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion with feedback from the entire university community. Key among the plan’s 34 recommendations are (1) developing a mechanism for reporting and responding to acts of intolerance or exclusion and resolving disputes that arise and (2) creating a centralized office to provide leadership on matters of diversity and inclusion. Other themes include recruiting and sustaining a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body; engaging the IUP community in cross-cultural activities and in training that promotes civility; and restructuring IUP functions and traditions in ways that promote diversity and inclusion. The commission is also leading development of an IUP pledge, through which members of the community promise to create and uphold an atmosphere of mutual respect and civility. The plan is available at the Diversity Action Plan website.

Vice President Hired

Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna

In April, Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna was appointed vice president for University Advancement at IUP. She joined the IUP community as interim vice president last September. Since that time, the university has entered the public phase of its comprehensive fundraising campaign and increased its campaign goal by 88 percent to $75 million. Osseiran-Hanna came to IUP from the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, where she was vice president for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs and executive director of the foundation. She has also held advancement positions at the University of Queensland, New Jersey City University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, pursued graduate studies at McGill University, and earned a certificate in planned giving from the College of William & Mary. At IUP, she succeeds Bill Speidel, who retired last year after more than five years as vice president.

New Chancellor

Beginning in September, Daniel Greenstein will lead Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education as chancellor. He comes to the State System after six years as a director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, he was a top administrator in the University of California system. Greenstein holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate from Oxford University. He succeeds Frank Brogan, who retired last fall and now serves as the US Department of Education’s assistant secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education. Karen Whitney, former Clarion University president, has served as interim chancellor since Brogan’s retirement.

Penn Goes Digital

Starting this fall, the Penn, IUP’s student newspaper, will move to an all-digital format. While this will save upward of $65,000 a year in printing, Joe Lawley, director of student publications and marketing for the Student Cooperative Association, said the change will also appeal to readers, who are increasingly using digital news sources, and to advertisers, who are following readers to digital formats. Lawley said the Penn will release two electronic editions per week and beef up its website and downloadable app with video and audio content, including podcasts. “I think it’s going to be better,” he said. “We’re giving people information in three, four, or five different ways, rather than just one.”

Justice through Theater

In June, IUP hosted hundreds of students, teachers, scholars, artists, and activists at a conference of the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed. This international organization promotes critical thinking and social justice through theater and popular education. Titled “Disrupting the Politics of Place: Building Inclusive Communities for the Future,” the conference featured lectures, theatrical performances, and a town hall session on race. Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, a faculty member in the IUP Department of Theater and Dance, was conference chair.