Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Kristin Woolever to retire in 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Kristin Woolever has announced that she will retire from the University on July 31, 2019, after leading the campus since Feb. 1, 2014. A national search will begin immediately to identify her successor. 

“Penn State Brandywine has certainly benefited from Kristin’s leadership,” said Madlyn L. Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor at Penn State. “Under her leadership, the campus has added additional high demand four-year majors and secured an Invent Penn State seed grant to advance entrepreneurship and innovation in partnership with the local business community.

“Most notably, Kristin has overseen the transformation of Penn State Brandywine from a commuter to a residential campus with the opening of Orchard Hall, a 256-bed residence hall, and a beautiful new student union building. Kristin has also secured major gifts to the current ‘A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence’ campaign, including commitments that named the student union dining facility and endowed the campus’s signature work in ethics and civic engagement.”

Woolever has helped to advance the University’s commitment to educational quality, academic excellence and student success, while also elevating Brandywine’s profile in the community and region. Additionally, Penn State Brandywine’s student-athletes have excelled in competition during her time as chancellor, with the campus winning the Penn State University Athletic Conference’s Chancellors Cup in 2014 and 2017, emblematic of the top overall athletic program in the PSUAC. 

“It has been my privilege to lead Penn State Brandywine from a solely commuter campus to a residential one,” Woolever said. “The campus is truly a gem, offering an accessible Penn State education for students in Delaware and Chester counties and now beyond. I look forward to continuing my work with Brandywine over this next academic year.”

In addition to serving as chancellor, Woolever holds the rank of professor of English at Penn State. Prior to joining the University, Woolever served as president of Prescott College in Arizona. 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, holding such positions as director of assessment, director of graduate studies, director of the computer lab, professor of English, interim dean of cooperative education, and acting chair of the Department of English. Woolever also 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, Pennsylvania.

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

Following her retirement, Woolever plans to return to New England, where she intends to find a house near the ocean and reconnect with friends.