Next Gen Penn State members named and ready for input on next president

April 05, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of a phased approach to select a new president for Penn State, the Board of Trustees is engaging the University community beginning this spring in a process to inform the selection of a world-class leader to be Penn State’s 19th president, when President Eric J. Barron retires at the conclusion of his current contract in June 2022.

An important step of the official search process, which will be led by the Board of Trustees’ Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee, is a listening element that kicks off this month, known as “Next Gen Penn State.” As part of the search, the Board of Trustees established a Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group to seek input and guide community involvement in the search process over the coming months.

“The Next Gen Penn State initiative is a ‘listening phase’ of our process within which stakeholders from varying backgrounds and perspectives will be charged with actively soliciting input from all areas of our community to help inform the selection of Penn State’s next president,” said Board of Trustees Chair Matt Schuyler. “This is a critical step in the overall presidential search process, and it is an indispensable opportunity for community members to be involved. We are asking our community to help inform the Trustees’ Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee in its choice of Penn State’s next leader, and this is a significant charge.”

Over the coming month, the Next Gen Penn State process promises to connect with the broad University community and key stakeholders to gather valuable feedback — through a University-wide survey, small-group stakeholder meetings and feedback via a newly created website — to help identify the desired qualities and qualifications for the University’s 19th president.

Information and data gathered by Next Gen Penn State will inform the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee’s efforts. At the conclusion of the month-long Next Gen Penn State listening process, a report of the input gathered from internal and external stakeholders will be generated and shared with the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee and the Penn State community.

“With the help and contributions of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and others, the input will make the search process stronger,” Schuyler said. “We encourage our community to engage with us and to express thoughts and recommendations and provide advice regarding the presidential search.”

Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group

The Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group, chaired by Board of Trustees Vice Chair David Kleppinger, is comprised of a broad cross-section of students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, trustees and other stakeholders from across the University.

“We are grateful to the Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group for its participation and appreciate the members’ time, energy and commitment to this important process,” Kleppinger said.

The 47-member advisory group includes:

  • Francis Achampong, chancellor of Penn State Mont Alto
  • Kathleen Bieschke, vice provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Squire Booker, Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Richard Bundy, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations  
  • Bryan Culler, student trustee  
  • Mark H. Dambly, trustee (co-chair of the Presidential Selection and Recruitment Committee)  
  • Daniel Delligatti, trustee    
  • Valerie Detwiler, trustee
  • Michele Duffy, assistant teaching professor of kinesiology
  • Jacqueline Edmondson, chancellor of Penn State Greater Allegheny
  • Robert Fenza, trustee    
  • Ronald Filippelli, State College Borough Mayor
  • James Franklin, head football coach  
  • Mary Frecker, Riess Chair of Engineering
  • Shaun Gabbidon, Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State Harrisburg
  • David Gray, senior vice president emeritus for Finance and Business/Treasurer
  • Frank Guadagnino, vice president for Administration (executive support)
  • Laura Guay, undergraduate student
  • Laura Guertin, professor of earth and mineral sciences
  • David Han, trustee    
  • Madlyn Hanes, senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses/Executive Chancellor  
  • Marie Hardin, dean of the Bellisario College of Communications
  • Shannon Harvey, director of the Office of the Board of Trustees/Associate Secretary (executive support)
  • Dr. Darrell Kirch, former dean of the Penn State College of Medicine and chief executive officer of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • David Kleppinger, vice chair of the Board of Trustees (advisory group chair)
  • Clarence Lang, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts
  • Lawrence Lokman, vice president for Strategic Communications
  • John Mason, chancellor of Penn State Harrisburg
  • Keith E. Masser, former trustee (Penn State Health representative)
  • Stephen Massini, chief executive officer of Penn State Health
  • Zack Moore, vice president for Government and Community Relations
  • Bhargava Motupalli, undergraduate student (president of the Penn State Harrisburg Student Government Association)
  • Noe Ortega, trustee    
  • Alice Pope, trustee    
  • Julie Anna Potts, trustee (co-chair of the Presidential Selection and Recruitment Committee)       
  • Tracy Riegel, Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Council Executive Board
  • Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences
  • Matthew Schuyler, chair of the Board of Trustees 
  • Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs   
  • William Sitzabee, vice president of Facilities Management and Planning/Chief Facilities Officer  
  • Richard Sokolov, chair of “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence” fundraising campaign (donor representative)
  • Bonj Szczygiel, associate professor of landscape architecture and women’s studies (chair-elect of University Faculty Senate)
  • Nico Terry, graduate student
  • James B. Thomas, Mount Nittany Health Board Member
  • Steven Wagman, trustee    
  • Sean Walsh, undergraduate student
  • Craig Weidemann, retired vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education
  • Lora Weiss, senior vice president for Research  
  • Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity 

Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee

Following the Next Gen Penn State input process, the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee will launch the search for high-quality candidates early this summer. During the February Board of Trustees meeting, Schuyler named Trustees Mark H. Dambly and Julie Anna Potts to lead the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee.

Selecting the next president is the most important decision a University’s board will make, and Dambly and Potts said they intend to run a rigorous and diligent search process in order to attract a high-quality, diverse and respected pool of candidates that will result in naming an executive with “excellent skills, impeccable integrity, vision and a strong track record of consensus-building and successfully leading a complex organization.”

The 19-member committee includes:

  • Abe Amorós, trustee
  • Erin Boas, undergraduate student
  • Kathleen Casey, trustee  
  • Mark H. Dambly (committee co-chair)
  • Barbara Doran, trustee
  • Lorraine Goffe, vice president for Human Resources
  • Frank Guadagnino, vice president for Administration (executive support) 
  • David Han, trustee 
  • Abraham Harpster, trustee 
  • Alex Hartzler, trustee
  • Shannon Harvey, director of the Office of the Board of Trustees/Associate Secretary (executive support) 
  • Randy Houston, president of the Penn State Alumni Association
  • Nina Jablonski, Evan Pugh Professor of Anthropology
  • David Kleppinger, vice chair of the Board of Trustees (chair of the Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group)
  • Ira Lubert, former trustee (donor representative) 
  • Bill Oldsey, trustee  
  • Julie Anna Potts, trustee (committee co-chair)
  • Walter Rakowich, trustee  
  • Nicholas Rowland, professor of sociology, Penn State Altoona
  • Mary Lee Schneider, trustee  
  • Matthew Schuyler, chair of the Board of Trustees

To assist in this national search, the Board of Trustees also has engaged the experienced search firm, Spencer Stuart. Spencer Stuart will participate in the Next Gen Penn State listening phase, which will inform their work on behalf of the Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee.

“We look forward to the Next Gen Penn State Advisory Group’s report and the engagement of a broad set of stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff, who have valuable insight into the desired characteristics and qualities of the institution’s next leader,” Dambly said. “We’re pleased that the search firm will be engaged in the listening process and will hear from our community from the outset of this critical effort.”

The Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee has been charged with recommending final candidates to the Board of Trustees following a thorough recruitment and vetting process to determine a candidate’s academic, administrative and business acumen, as well as other qualities identified.

“We know there will be great interest in this search from faculty, staff, students, alumni and key stakeholders,” Potts said. “In addition to seeking input through the Next Gen Penn State process, we plan to share the report from that listening element with our community, along with continued updates on our process, timeline and other critical pieces of information.” 

Share your feedback

To become engaged in the listening process, the Penn State community is encouraged to participate in an upcoming survey about the presidential search and to provide feedback at nextgen.psu.edu via an anonymous feedback form. Students, faculty, staff and other community members are encouraged to visit the site for information and updates.

“By listening and weighing considerations from a wide range of stakeholders, we are seeking specific information on what our community values and believes is needed in a leader who can take our University into the future,” Schuyler said. “We look forward to hearing their thoughts, ideas and recommendations.”

Last Updated May 12, 2021