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Cal U’s search for president narrows to 2 candidates

Mary Pickels
RalphRogers
Nova Southeastern University website
Ralph Rogers, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs of Florida’s Nova Southeastern University

The interim president of California University of Pennsylvania is one of two candidates moving forward in the effort to fill the Washington County college’s top job.

Geraldine M. Jones and Ralph Rogers, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs of Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, are finalists in the presidential search.

University spokeswoman Christine Kindl said the school’s council of trustees approved Jones and Rogers during a special meeting Tuesday.

The two spoke this month at forums for faculty, staff and students.

Jones, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from what was then known as California State College, has been employed by the university since 1974.

During an alumni and community forum, she listed among her accomplishments the development of a five-year strategic plan, establishment of a military tuition program and the addition of nine academic programs in high-demand areas.

She delivered her address days after Cal U’s chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties postponed a no-confidence vote of the university’s leadership.

In his alumni and community address, Rogers called the university “a gem” and noted it faces challenges typical of higher education, from enrollment to funding.

Rogers, a graduate of Ohio University with a degree in engineering, worked as a civilian project engineer for the Navy before beginning his academic career. After earning a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering at Ohio University and a doctorate in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, he gravitated toward administration.

He cited among his career accomplishments growing enrollment at Nova Southeastern, starting online master’s programs and establishing university and corporate relationships.

A third candidate, Guiyan Huang, senior vice president for academic affairs, faculty dean and English professor at Norwich University, a private military institution in Vermont, also participated in a forum.

The finalists’ names and resumes will be forwarded to the Office of the Chancellor and the Pennsylvania State Systems’ Board of Governors for further deliberation, Kindl said.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or [email protected].

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