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New chancellor appointed at Penn State Brandywine

Kristen Woolever
11/22/2013 —

Kristin Woolever, president of Prescott College in Arizona, has been named chancellor at Penn State Brandywine. Woolever succeeds Sophia Wisniewska, who accepted a position as regional chancellor at the University of Southern Florida in St. Petersburg in March 2013.

“Dr. Woolever will bring strong administrative and strategic planning experience, as well as a deep understanding of the beneficial partnership between the academy and the community. She has a history of creating positive change,” said Madlyn Hanes, Penn State vice president for Commonwealth Campuses. “We are pleased to welcome her leadership to Penn State Brandywine.”

Woolever’s appointment is effective Feb. 1, 2014. George W. Franz, who has served as interim chancellor since July, has agreed to remain on the job until Woolever takes the reins. Woolever said she is eager to lead Penn State Brandywine.

“I am honored to be named chancellor of Penn State Brandywine, a campus on the move," she said. "I’m eager to begin working with the faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community to shape a positive, exciting future for the campus.  I'm also thrilled to have the opportunity to return to my home state.”

During Woolever’s three years as president of Prescott College, she developed a 10-year strategic plan and raised funds to finance the institution’s first student housing complex and campus commons. In addition, during her tenure a $30 million comprehensive campaign was launched, a local community advisory board was established, and the administrative and academic structures were reorganized and downsized to achieve greater quality and efficiency. Under Woolever's leadership, the college created and funded a Natural History Institute, expanded science labs, nearly doubled alumni giving, tripled legacy bequests, organized a strong network of alumni recruiters and created an alumni-endowed fund for faculty professional development.

Before leading Prescott, Woolever served as dean and director of the campus at the University of New Hampshire-Manchester and director of the Centre for Creative Change at Antioch University in Seattle. She spent 17 years at Northeastern University, where she held positions including director of assessment, director of graduate studies, director of the computer lab, professor of English, interim dean of Cooperative Extension and acting chair of the department of English. Woolever also has held a senior fellowship with the New England Board of Higher Education and taught at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.

In her new position, Woolever also will hold the rank of professor of English. She has authored eight books.

Woolever earned a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Pittsburgh 

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