Austin named interim senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses

June 23, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kelly Austin, associate vice president for administration in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, has been named interim senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor effective Aug. 1. 

Austin succeeds Madlyn Hanes, who will retire from Penn State on Aug. 1 after a 33-year career with the University. A national search, headed by Yvonne Gaudelius, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education, is underway to identify Hanes' permanent successor.

“Kelly’s extensive experience as both a campus chancellor and administrator make him an outstanding choice to lead the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses in an interim capacity,” said Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost. “He will provide exceptional service to the office and University during this key period of transition.”

Headshot of Kelly Austin

Kelly Austin, associate vice president for administration in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, joined Penn State in 2012 as Penn State Schuylkill’s chancellor.

IMAGE: Penn State

As interim senior vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor, Austin will oversee Penn State’s 20 Commonwealth campuses, which enroll approximately 27,000 students in associate, baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Penn State Commonwealth Campuses include Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Great Valley, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre and York.

In this interim role, Austin will manage the campuses’ academic and administrative programs and operations, including strategic and facilities planning, student recruitment and retention, curriculum development and integration, and the selection of campus chancellors. Austin also will oversee the budgets for the Commonwealth Campuses and serve as dean of the 14 campuses of the University College and the Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies.

“I am excited to continue to serve our Commonwealth students, faculty and staff in this capacity” said Austin. “The 20 Commonwealth Campuses serve a vast community — 96% of Pennsylvanians live within 30 miles of a Penn State campus. We have a duty to give all of our students a world-class Penn State educational experience while fulfilling our land-grant mission by being an economic driver across the state.”

As associate vice president within the Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, Austin provides leadership and supervision in the administrative areas of strategic planning and implementation, budget planning and resource allocations, human resources, marketing, commonwealth campuses intercollegiate athletics and information technology. Austin assists the senior vice president for commonwealth campuses with the day-to-day administration of the 20 Commonwealth Campuses, policy integration, talent management, strategic planning and funding requests.

Austin joined the Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses in 2017. Previously, Austin served as Penn State Schuylkill’s chancellor. Before joining Penn State Schuylkill in 2012, Austin was vice president of finance and administration at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from 2008-2012. While at Pitt-Johnstown, he also served as vice president of student affairs and director of the student union and student activities. Additionally, Austin served in multiple roles working directly with students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, prior to joining Pitt-Johnstown. 

He earned his doctoral degree in social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh, MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, master’s degree in student personnel administration and bachelor of science degree in business administration/business management, from Slippery Rock University. 

Last Updated July 14, 2021