Faculty Senate executive director Susan Youtz to retire after 31 years

December 20, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Susan C. Youtz, executive director of the University Faculty Senate, will retire Dec. 31 with emerita status after 31 years at Penn State.

Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones thanked Youtz at her recent retirement reception for her "exceptional service to the University" and her "good humor, vision, and inspired leadership of Senate operations and commitment to students, mentorship of others, and collegiality to all."

Youtz joined Penn State in 1982 at the Abington and Brandwine campuses, to coordinate the extended undergraduate nursing program for registered nurse students. After two years, she moved to University Park and became assistant director of the School of Nursing, overseeing undergraduate nursing programs -- at the time the second-largest baccalaureate program in the U.S. --  at University Park, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and ten additional campuses.

From 1994 to 1999 she was director of the School's Rural Nursing Center Project, an initiative to help address the unmet health care needs of rural southern Huntingdon County residents.

Youtz completed her doctoral studies in counselor education at Penn State in 1997. Previously she received a bachelor's degree in nursing/biology from the College of New Jersey and a master's in nursing from New York University. Her research and scholarship has focused on inter-organizational partnerships and access to health care in rural areas. She served eight years as a University Faculty Senator from Health and Human Development, and chaired two committees on curricular affairs and intra-university relations.

In 2001, Youtz was appointed executive secretary – now executive director – of the University Faculty Senate. She holds the distinction of being the first female faculty member appointed to lead the Senate’s administrative office. Currently, the Senate includes 247 faculty, student and administrative senators representing 23 Penn State campuses.

Among her many accomplishments during her tenure with the Senate is her introduction of technology to make Senate operations more efficient and cost effective. The Senate implemented databases for tracking student petitions, implementation of Senate legislation, curriculum proposals and other records; acquired new video-conferencing equipment to reduce travel costs and time for Senators from other campuses; digitized all agendas and records from 1921 – when the Senate was formed – to the present; and initiated an electronic card swipe system to track attendance at Senate meetings and the use of voting clickers for a more accurate count and greater confidentiality.

Youtz has served on numerous Penn State committees and task forces, including the Commission for Women and the University Hearing Board. She also served at commencement ceremonies as a University Faculty Marshal and nomenclator.

In the community, Youtz has been a board member for the Centre County American Lung Association and the Altoona-based Home Nursing Agency, and currently is a board member of Centre Volunteers in Medicine, a non-profit organization that provides primary care to medically underserved Centre County residents at no charge.

  • Susan C. Youtz

    Susan C. Youtz

    IMAGE: Michelle Bixby

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Last Updated January 10, 2015