President Emerita

Clarion University

Former Interim Chancellor Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Karenwhitney.highered@gmail.com • (814) 319-6159

 


 

Karen Whitney has held positions at the University of Houston, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Clarion University and the PA State System of Higher Education. Karen possesses a depth (forty years in higher education) and breadth (leading services/programs that span across an organization) of experience and expertise. As Interim Chancellor, she guided a system comprised of 14 universities through a series of historic achievements while addressing financial, enrollment, leadership, governmental and accreditation challenges. Based on an extraordinarily comprehensive review of the system and the universities, Karen led the team that established a dynamic and highly engaging platform designed to facilitate lasting systemic transformative change ensuring the success of over 100,000 students and 14 universities.

As president of Clarion University, Whitney led the university through a period of great operational challenge and change including a transformational reorganization of academic priorities, colleges, departments, administrative and student support operations. Most notably, establishing the university as a leader in offering innovative professional programs in business, education, health and human services.

Whitney is a nationally recognized higher education executive and a trusted advisor to presidents, chancellors and governing boards. Her research, writing, speaking and consulting includes higher education leadership, finance and administration.

Specialties

Multi-University System Assessment, Planning, Development and Design; Governing Board Assessment, Planning & Development including President-Board Chair Planning; Senior/Executive Leadership Assessment & Development; including On-Boarding, On-Going Support, and Out-Boarding

Service Highlights

  • President, Clarion University
  • Interim Chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
  • Board Member, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  • President, Commission of Presidents (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education)
  • Board Member, Rural Regional Community College of Pennsylvania
  • Board Member, The Center For Rural Pennsylvania
  • Consultant/Evaluator, Middle States Commission on Higher Education & The Higher Learning Commission National Co
  • Chair, LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education
  • Board Member, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
  • Board Member & Chair of the Indianapolis BOS Community Development Corporation
  • Board Member, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center

Honors

  • President Emerita, Awarded the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
  • The Board of Governors Senior Practitioner Award
  • American College Personnel Association Outstanding Professional Staff, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Education

  • Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A., B.A., The University of Houston