Penn State DuBois Chancellor Anita McDonald announces retirement

After a long and distinguished career in higher education, Penn State DuBois Chancellor Anita McDonald has announced that she will retire at the end of this calendar year.

When she arrived at Penn State in February 2003, McDonald recognized the supportive atmosphere that existed and promised to encourage, nurture and grow that commitment to student success. Since her arrival she has indeed kept that promise.

Under McDonald’s leadership, the campus has increased degree offerings, including the baccalaureate in general engineering with an applied materials focus, important to the powder metals industry in the region; and the baccalaureate in earth sciences, which encompasses the fields of geoscience, geography, meteorology, geophysics and soil science, preparing graduates for a variety of careers in the natural gas industry. Other achievements include raising more than $10 million to support student scholarships and facility enhancements, increasing grant funding for research and equipment, creating the Office for Technology Transfer to assist entrepreneurs, reestablishing intercollegiate athletics which has provided students the opportunity to compete at the national level, increasing campus diversity and opening the Office of International and Multicultural Student Services in 2010. In fact, that same year, she and her husband, Bob, established an endowed scholarship, in memory of her parents, to support students with diverse backgrounds.

With a passion for community service, McDonald has always encouraged the campus, as a member of the community, to partner with others in the community. Today, student clubs and organizations, along with faculty and staff log more than 8,000 hours of service to their communities each year. For this, the campus has twice been named to The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

"My focus has always been on student success,” McDonald said.  "A large part of that is engaging students with their community, and taking advantage of partnerships within the community.”

Before coming to Penn State DuBois, McDonald served as dean of the Extended University, Summer Session, and Evening and Weekend Campus at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in secondary mathematics from Wayne State University in Detroit, and a doctoral degree in education from St. Louis University. She took graduate courses in accounting at the University of Detroit and attended Harvard's Management and Leadership Institute. McDonald has also been involved with the American Council on Education (ACE) for nearly 20 years. She was an ACE Fellow, served on the ACE Commission on Lifelong Learning, and served as chair of the Council of Fellows.

"I'm looking forward to trying something new," McDonald said about her retirement. "I truly love what we do on this campus, which is helping individuals achieve their dreams. However, Bob, my husband of 42 years, and I have three children and three grandchildren, with a new grandchild on the way in June. We look forward to spending more time with them, and to finding more time to pursue other interests."

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Last Updated January 10, 2015