2023 Faculty-Staff Convocation and Celebration


Good morning, and welcome to the 2023 Kutztown University Faculty and Staff Convocation and Celebration.

Now, please direct your attention to the screen behind me. As we welcome a new academic year, let’s take a brief look at 2022-23 with our year in review. (see video above)

Thank you.  It is now my pleasure to introduce the president of Kutztown University, Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson.



Welcome to the 2023 Faculty and Staff Convocation and Celebration.  It is with great joy that I speak to the you, the faculty, staff, administrators, and other guests, today.  I am truly thankful that we are able to celebrate together, in-person yet again, the beginning of a new academic year. 

I would like to acknowledge our Council of Trustee members for all they do for our university!  My thanks to Payton Mentzer, student trustee, for being here today. 

I would like to recognize my office staff; Pam Rex, and Sarah Wallace who were instrumental in putting this event together. 

And let me also acknowledge my wife Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson who works quietly behind the scenes to promote KU with so many audiences – she is tireless in her support of the university and support of me.

I believe that the purpose of this gathering is to celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty and staff, and to update you on significant happenings at the university. 

We will honor those who have been selected to receive university awards such as Employee of the Month and Year, and the recognition of other honorees and award recipients.

We will also recognize those faculty tenured or promoted effective this fall.

Most notably, this year we will share many of the accomplishments that are embedded in our Strategic Plan. Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Lorin Basden Arnold and vice president of Finance and Facilities, Matt Delaney. Will share highlights from our plan and share examples of areas that have received strategic funding for this coming year.

Before moving on to these important topics, let me just touch on a few updates... 

Comprehensive Planning Process

Through the Comprehensive Planning Process, developed in collaboration with the chancellor and State System, greater accountability has been placed on universities to ensure that their income matches their expenses.  For the third year, we are confident that we will be up in new students this coming year.  And, though it is too soon to know for certain, we may be close to being up in our overall numbers for the first time in thirteen years!  My thanks to all those who have worked tirelessly to improve our enrollment numbers.

We are now going into our sixth year with a balanced budget.  We are also going into our fifth year of an in-state tuition freeze for our students.  These accomplishments resulted from adjusting our workforce through attrition and adding greater efficiency in the management of our operation.  As you know, we have not resorted to retrenchment or furlough.  And, I continue to be assured that we will not be integrated with any other university.  My thanks to all of you for your sacrifices in recent years that have contributed greatly to our current financial health. 

I’m delighted to share that through the advocacy of our chancellor and many others who helped in the effort, the governor and legislature have provided another significant increase in our state funding in terms of base appropriation.  These funds will help us to replenish needed operating funds, invest in needed positions, and support strategic initiatives that will enhance the mission and the lives of our many constituents at the university.

Vice president Matt Delaney will go into greater detail on this in a few minutes.

Finally, I will provide closing comments at the end of this event.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

An important update I want to share concerns our efforts to bring greater diversity, equity and inclusion at Kutztown University.  At KU, we value and appreciate the differences and unique aspects that each individual brings to our campus community. The diverse perspectives, ideas, background and abilities of our faculty, staff and students, help to create an environment for which each member can grow and ultimately be more prepared to thrive in our ever-changing society. We strive tirelessly to be open to change, listen to those who find challenges in this space, and respond in a way that makes everyone feel valued.

In the fall of 2020, I charged the Commission on the Status of Minorities, under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Garrison, to develop what is now called a Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) strategic plan to help guide us as we address these important issues.  After over two years of hard work, the commission developed a report that outlined its findings and included a number of recommendations.  This report was shared with our university community last spring, and the JEDI report and my formal response will be posted on the Commission on the Status of Minorities website next week.

I wish to express my gratefulness to the members of the Commission on the Status of Minorities, and associate members, for their very hard work and their contribution to making the KU community more aware of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).  The work has only begun and I am committed to continually striving forward to make Kutztown University a place where all feel that they belong and can strive to achieve their fullest potential.

New Employees

Before we move on to our presentations, it is my pleasure to welcome all the new faculty and staff who have joined us over the past year and who are with us today.  Ann Marie and I look forward to meeting you all in person at the various receptions we will have at our house this year.

To our new employees…When I began my presidency at Kutztown University in July of 2015, I spoke of “place.”  I used a formula:  Values plus space equals “place”.  To simply occupy “space” leads to a very unfulfilling life.  But when one adds values to that space - it converts to a “place” – a community wherein one lives and learns and transcends to a level greater than one can reach as an individual.  

Kutztown University is such a place – where students can come to a safe and enriching environment, in a beautiful part of the world, and learn, and grow, and mature into enlightened and productive citizens.

This is a wonderful place to live and work, and we thank you for joining our community. 

It is now my pleasure to bring Matt Santos, Vice President for University Relations and Athletics back to the podium. 

Before we present first our awards, I would like to invite Renee Hellert, Athletic Director to the stage to help with our presentation. 

I also want to thank all of the members of the Division of University Relations and Athletics for their continued dedication and tireless efforts to shine a positive light on our university. We are proud to bring enhanced awareness of the university to prospective students and their parents --- as well as other constituents --- through various University Relations initiatives, including communications, marketing, the web, government & community relations and cultural affairs.

Our division is also proud of the boost we bring to the university’s enrollment through our contributions to student life, diversity, campus pride, and media coverage from our intercollegiate athletics and sports and recreation programs.

The Coaches of the Year Awards were established in 1987 to recognize the top coaches of KU’s men’s and women’s NCAA Athletic Teams.  Members of the KU athletic department staff vote upon the nominees to determine the recipients.

This year's Kutztown University Coaches of the Year guided their teams to Cinderella story seasons this past spring. 

The winner of the 2023 Dr. Dennis Roth Men’s Coach of the Year Award put the Golden Bear baseball program back on the map, especially when it comes to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He led the Golden Bears to a 15-win turnaround from the 2022 season with a 26-19 record, the most wins since 2014, and 12-12 mark in the conference, finishing tied for fourth in the PSAC East Division. This was despite being picked last in the preseason poll.

This year’s KU Men’s Coach of the Year --- is head baseball coach, Eric Folmar!

The winner of the 2023 Dr. Dorothy Moyer Women's Coach of the Year, in just her second season at the helm, led the Golden Bear women’s lacrosse team to a record-tying 13 wins, their first-ever IWLCA national ranking and first-ever NCAA Division II Championship tournament appearance. 

The program, which won one game two seasons ago, and four games last year, not only posted its first winning season since being reinstated in 2008, but tied the school record for wins in a season of 13 set during the program’s first stint in 1982.   She is the first coach in her sport in school history to win this annual award.

This year’s KU women’s coach of the year is head lacrosse coach Kristen Nicholson.

Please welcome Jesus Pena, vice president for Equity & Compliance, to recognize our KU employees of the month and to present the 2023 KU Employee of the Year.

Good morning and welcome to the 2023-24 academic year.

The Division of Equity and Compliance consists of the Office of Social Equity, the Disability Services Office, the Department of Public Safety and Police Services, and the Department of Human Resources. I’d like to thank the staff in these areas, for their hard work and their many contributions to our university, during the past year.

To acknowledge the exemplary work of our valued employees, since 2017, we have recognized the Employee of the Month and the Employee of the Year, all selected by the HR Advisory Committee.  This initiative was established by President Hawkinson and Mrs. Anne Marie Hayes-Hawkinson.  Thank you both for your generosity in sponsoring this program and thank you to the HR Advisory Committee for your service. 

Employee of the Month honorees are all eligible for the Employee of the Year Award.  At this time, I would like to recognize the winners of Employee of the Month for the last fiscal year and will then introduce the KU Employee of the Year.

The Employees of the Month are:

Month   Employee Department
July 2022  Caecilia Holt  Physical Sciences
August 2022    Nancy Brynildsen Student Success
September 2022 John Newhard   Facilities
October 2022 Laurette Norman University Relations
November 2022 Nancy Schuck Facilities
December 2022 Craig Beidler Public Safety
January 2023 Yelitza Pagan Information Technology
February 2023 Angelica Mishra Multicultural Center
March 2023 Joselyn Wynter College of Visual and Performing Arts
April 2023 Heather Arbuckle Grants & Sponsored Projects
May 2023 Amanda Garcia  Student Union Operations
June 2023 Charles Moody Information Technology

… and now, the 2022-2023 Kutztown University Employee of the Year is:

Nancy Schuck

As Nancy makes her way to the stage, I would like to share she was nominated by a number of students.  One student, in particular, expressed the following:

“she works tirelessly to maintain our hall, one of the largest traditional residence halls on campus. Every day she comes into the building with a smile on her face and she interacts with staff and residents alike, with kindness and good humor. She is incredibly passionate about this hall, after working here for 17 years, and she loves the residents and staff that spend their time here.”

It is now my pleasure to introduce, our new vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dr. Learie Nurse. 

Thank you.

Last year, at this event, we highlighted our new Strategic Plan and you will find the goals of our plan in your agenda.  The Strategic Planning Committee, under the exceptional leadership of Dr. Cathy McGeehan, has been at work all year in continually improving our plan and monitoring the many action items that have been submitted to fulfill the goals and objectives of the university. 

Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Lorin Basden Arnold and vice president of Finance and Facilities, Matt Delaney, recently shared highlights from our plan with our Council of Trustees.  President Hawkinson has asked that they update the campus community today on these ongoing initiatives as well as to share examples of areas that have received strategic funding for this coming year.

It is my pleasure to introduce Provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Lorin Basden Arnold and vice president of Finance and Facilities, Matt Delaney

Good morning. I’m happy to have this chance to join VP Delaney in sharing some of our progress on the Strategic Plan. Before I do that, I would like to extend my personal appreciation to all the many members of the Division of Academic Affairs for all that you do to support our students every day. Thank you!

At KU, our mission remains clear. We provide affordable high-quality undergraduate, graduate, and lifelong learning opportunities that empower students of all ages for their intellectual, social, civic, and career endeavors.

As you have likely heard, our plan is now a living document. This means that, because our overarching goals are likely to remain the same (that is, we probably will never say, “Eh, academic excellence doesn’t matter”) we will update the plan objectives as needed and the strategic actions yearly, using a process that involves all members of our community.

The leadership groups for strategic planning consists of cabinet, the Strategic Planning Resource Committee and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. Also, the cycle we have created pulls in suggestions, requests, and information from across the campus.

Beginning in February, for both strategic actions and funding, we begin gathering input from all campus members. As we move through various stages of input discussion, consultation with groups such as SPRC and IEC, and decision-making, the plans continue to evolve, until the finalized document is prepared at the end of the calendar year. And then the process begins again. This allows our plan to remail vibrant, ongoing, and at the center of our decision processes.

Our first overarching goal remains Academic Excellence. Exceptional teaching results from an attitude of continuous improvement and ongoing opportunities for our impressive faculty to hone their craft, particularly through the actions of the Center for Engaged Learning (previously the CET). Faculty members remain committed to the revision of teaching strategies in ways that support our students and their needs.

The assessment cycle is an important part of our continuous improvement and our accountability to our stakeholders. This is reflected in the work that has been done to create processes that support assessment. As we move toward our next Middle States Commission on Higher Education review, I would like to thank Dr. Karen Rauch and Dr. Greg Shelley for agreeing to co-chair that crucial process. Please keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved in that work.

As we further our students’ opportunities to engage in high-impact and experiential learning, we have collaborated across the campus to support these efforts. This work has included establishing an office dedicated to extended education and lifelong learning, beginning the process of re-establishing an office for international education, and funding various projects recommended by our faculty that support experiential learning.

Our faculty and staff continue to engage in and support research and creativity. Including hosting large-scale conferences (such as conferences in Social Work, Art Education, and English as a Second Language Education). Collaborating – with support from Grants and Sponsored Programs and KU Foundation – in writing and submitting grant proposals of all sizes.

In the area of Student Success, our efforts have been just as crucial and just as well-supported by staff and faculty from across the university.

We have supported our students in a variety of ways. Including the implementation of the Starfish student success program. Two years of the Reboot summer program, which resulted in a large number of students requalifying for financial aid. Funding for upcoming efforts including year three of Reboot and development of additional programs for incoming student-athletes.

Our students hope to graduate prepared for their careers – and their parents and other supporting adults also want this for them. As we have supported the students in this objective, the Career Development Center has created new programs. The center is preparing for a relocation to the library to become even more available to students. A variety of programs have revised their curricula to make them more reflective of student career needs.

In the domain of student success, it remains important that we consider the students as whole people, whose overall wellbeing is important. In this effort, we have launched and assessed wellbeing events, created new support opportunities through the Disability Services Office, and engaged in targeted mentoring in support programs.

We continue to expand and grow high-impact, high-retention programs for our students, in both the academic and student affairs domains. In the last three years, we have released 20 tenure-track positions for searches in high-demand high-success areas, and this week we welcomed our incoming faculty at new faculty orientation.

While much of our focus is on our students, we also take seriously our obligation to the community and region.

We continue to support and develop programs that address the workforce needs of Pennsylvania and the region. The addition of the Office of Extended and Lifelong Learning, and hiring of a new vice provost – Dr. Sheperis – is vital to that work, as are the efforts of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center. In the coming year, we will implement a platform that assists us in providing non-credit workforce opportunities to our community and beyond.

These efforts require us to be attentive to our partnerships in the region. We have renewed and/or expanded programs like Upward Bound, PROFS and our relationship with Child Promise, and our collaboration with Rodale Institute and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Our partnerships with entities like the PASBDC and the PA Housing Authority will help us to provide additional credit bearing and non-credit education that support those programs and their members.

Through the work of various offices on campus and the KU Foundation, we have expanded our community and alumni engagement. With creation of the Lifelong Learning Council, completion of the Keith Haring Fitness Court, development of multiple boards/advisory groups. And continued opportunities to engage our area legislators.

Much like our attention to student wellbeing, we strive to embrace the importance of having a campus community that supports all members and exhibits an attitude of inclusiveness and equity.

In creating a culture that is committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) and champions the success of all members, we have broadened our events, provided training, increased funding, improved understanding, and increased diversity. We have more work left to do in this crucial aspect of our strategic plan.

We have been accountable to the importance of DEIA efforts. Through required trainings, professional development activities, opportunities to improve accessibility of our courses and review of campus documents and policies.  To be sure we are using inclusive and supportive actions and language.

Working to improve our overall campus diversity, the JEDI assessment and PASSHE Campus Climate Survey were completed. We began to utilize additional targeted publications for faculty hiring. We developed agreements and held many activities with and for school districts with diverse student populations.

We need to make sure we are accountable and as transparent as possible in our DEI efforts. We have shared information regarding the PASSHE Climate Survey, provided the JEDI report to the campus community (and the President’s response to the report will shortly be shared), and are restructuring our managerial evaluation rubrics to more directly call out DEIA actions.

The shared governance system that we have on the KU campus promotes a collaborative community in the service of our mission and the support of all of our stakeholders.

In recent years we have worked together to review our system and make changes. We provide additional opportunities for information sharing. Worked with the numerous advisory groups that are currently in place. And insured that faculty and staff are represented on committees and councils across campus.

At this point, I will turn to vice president for Finance and Facilities, Matt Delaney to talk about the nuts and bolts (and dollars and cents).

Thank you, Lorin.  And thanks for your leadership and dedication in making the strategic plan and our progress toward these goals more transparent through the creation of the Strategic Plan SharePoint website.  Well done!

Good morning,

I have the pleasure of reporting our progress toward Goal # 5, Sustainability of Resources and Stewardship of Place.  It may be goal #5 in our Strategic Plan, but it will always be goal #1 in my heart.

 Objective #1 calls for an increase in overall university enrollment.  As you can see on the slide, we have made great progress in this area.  Our work in developing a financial aid optimization strategy through the development of Merit Scholarships, that range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year, has helped us increase our freshmen class of 1,399 in Fall 2019 to 1,600 in Fall 2022.  Right on target!  Much thanks to our exceptional Admissions staff.

As you know, recruitment is just a portion of overall enrollment. Retaining our talented students is also a critical piece.  I am thrilled to report that we have increased our retention rate from 73.7% to 79.3% over the past five years.  This wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of our dedicated faculty in the classroom and our staff in all the support offices across campus, that work each day to ensure our students’ success. Thank you all!

We have also entered into partnerships with academic institutions in India that should lead to students arriving at KU as early as this spring.

Work continues as we look to better align our program array with student and workforce needs.  We are also putting resources toward high impact recruitment initiatives within our office of Admissions, like M.O.R.E, the “minority overnight recruitment event.” M.O.R.E has been very successful over the past few years by opening doors to students that may not otherwise get to truly experience all that a college campus has to offer.

All these efforts have us well on the way to increasing overall enrollment.  I know I am certainly excited to see where we land on the fall freeze date of September 18th.

Objective #2: maintain a balanced budget without the use of cash reserves.  This has not been easy.  Our efforts started in earnest as we developed the fiscal year 2019 budget.  We eliminated vacant positions, and we cut operating budgets.  Hard work indeed, but as you will see later, our efforts are being rewarded.  We also continue to review each vacant staff position at cabinet before filling any vacancies.

Moving forward we need to continue to use the state appropriation allocation formula to our benefit.  You may have heard that the State System received a 6% increase this year, but KU, because of our improvements to select enrollment metrics, as compared to our sister schools, will realize a 7.7% increase.  That is a total of $3.5 million in new revenue for our base budget.  These additional revenues have allowed us to restore some of the past budget reductions and cover inflationary increases in strategic areas and for growing departments.  Our period of austerity is beginning to fade.

Objective #3 has us striving to attain financial sustainability as defined by the State System.  We have already made great progress by moving from Plan 2 to Plan 1 in Fall 2021.  This was achieved due to our ability to “live within our means”, spending less than we are brining in each year.  Over the past four years we have increased our cash balances by $20 million, or over 25%.  We have also worked hard to increase our student-to-faculty ratio from 16.7 to 18.0.  I know this is not popular with everyone, but it is good to see that it has not negatively impacted our retention rate.  We will continue to monitor this ratio and determine what is best for Kutztown University.

I am pleased to report that early indications from the year-end close in our Accounting Office has us on track to improve our single year performance in annual operating margin, primary reserve ratio, and minimum reserves.  We are getting very close to moving more of these key indicators to healthy levels.

Objective #4: the Kutztown University Foundation will conduct a Comprehensive Campaign.  I’m not sure that I can do Alex (Ogeka) and his amazing staff justice considering all that they have accomplished.  Let me start by simply saying “WOW”!

They completed their comprehensive campaign six months early and exceeded both the fundraising and engagement goals by significant amounts.  We are talking about a goal of $40 million dollars.  I won’t steal the spotlight or accept the applause as you will be hearing much more from Alex and his team in early September as they have many celebratory events planned across campus.

I will however, put in a plug for the 1866-minute giving challenge, that is now held each year.  This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to give back to specific causes that may be special to us and that more importantly support our amazing students.  As an employee of this university, and an alum of the MBA program, I have a lot to be thankful for and this initiative is a great way to show my appreciation.  And trust me Alex makes it very easy to give back.  Thank you, Alex, and thanks to all the Foundation staff.

Objective #5: Enhance University Campus through Capital Projects, and Environmental Sustainability Initiatives, comes with some visual evidence.  We have completed an $18 million renovation of the de Francesco Building that houses our of College of Business. It   features a spectacular new grand entrance that will be sure to turn heads on campus tours.  The building also features the Beebe Family Board Room, an Active Learning Lab, and many study spaces equipped with first rate technology that will help our students prepare for their careers.

With the help of the KU Foundation and several generous donors, we have also opened the doors to the Wells-Rapp Center for Mallet Percussion, the DeLight E. Breidegam Building, home of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, and the Nancy Jean Stump Seiger ’54 Botanical Research Center.  Please get out on campus and be sure to check out these exciting new spaces.

On the south side of campus, we installed a new scoreboard and sound system in Andre Reed Stadium.  Students will also be excited to experience the significant upgrades we have completed on the second floor of South Dining Hall.  The facility was reopened earlier this week and looks simply fantastic.

We are just weeks away from breaking ground on our new Admissions Welcome Center which will incorporate the existing Poplar House into an exciting design sure to tastefully enhance our beautiful campus.  This new space will allow our Admissions staff to hold larger presentations and provide a home base for leading campus tours for our prospective students.

Objective # 6: ensure that a Kutztown University Education remains affordable.  In my opinion, this has been our greatest success.  In-state undergraduate tuition has not increased over the past five years.  During that same time period, we have increased institutional student aid by $10 million dollars.  Due to these merit scholarships, the average student starting in the Fall of 2023 is actually paying less than students who began in Fall 2019.

In this time of significant inflation, I think we can all agree that holding the line on costs is impressive and certainly in the best interest of our students.  We will continue to do all we can to make sure we remain affordable while not risking our overall financial sustainability.

Finally, Objective #7: provide the technology infrastructure and services appropriate to meet university objectives, while maximizing sustainability.  This objective was added last year in consultation with the Strategic Planning and Resource Committee and as part of our constantly evolving strategic plan.

The Information Technology (IT) results include the replacement of all computers for faculty and staff across campus.  Troy (Vingom) and his team have also made great strides in enhancing our cyber security measures.  Considering the incidents at other State System schools, investing in cyber security is more than prudent, as every dollar invested can save many more down the road.

We can also look forward to additional WiFi upgrades across campus and the replacement of critical equipment needed to ensure uninterrupted service.

As our provost mentioned earlier, a key part of our strategic planning cycle is funding initiatives that come forward from all levels of the university.  I am pleased to report that the president and cabinet were able to allocate nearly $1.7 million in one-time funding to support key initiatives in several categories.

These initiatives are closely tied to the strategic plan in areas such as enrollment, campus safety, IT enhancements, DEI initiatives, as well as allocations to the vice presidents and deans to fund needs that may arise in real time during the semester.

This is confirmation that our process is working, as dollars should flow to the programs and initiatives that move the institution forward and set us up for continued success.  More specific information will come from the vice presidents directly to their divisions as the semester gets underway.

Thank you for your time and attention this morning.  It is now my pleasure to reintroduce our provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lorin Basden Arnold.


Faculty Promotion & Tenure

I would like to begin by acknowledging our faculty members who were promoted or received tenure this past year.

Congratulations to all faculty who were promoted or tenured in 2022-2023!

John P. Schellenberg Award
At this time, I would like to invite Dr. John Schellenberg, professor emeritus of the Physical sciences department, to the stage to assist with the presentation of our next award.       

The John P. Schellenberg Award for Teaching and Learning was established by Dr. Schellenberg, as well as faculty, alumni, and friends to recognize an early career faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding work within the mission of the Center for Engaged Learning (CEL).  

To be eligible for the Schellenberg award, an individual must have been on the faculty full-time at least three, but not more than seven years. 

The recipient is chosen based on the following three areas: 
Pedagogy and Curriculum Innovation
Learning Technology Innovation
and/or Assessment or Research on Learning

The recipient of this year’s John P. Schellenberg Award for Teaching and Learning is:
Dr. Brooks Emerick - Mathematics

The Chambliss Faculty Award
I would like to invite Dr. Carlson Chambliss, professor emeritus, department of Physical Sciences, to the stage to present our next awards.

The Chambliss Faculty Research Awards were inaugurated in 2004 through a gift from Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss.  Dr. Chambliss has been extremely generous in creating honors to recognize the success of the KU Family, including the best and brightest of our students. 

The Chambliss Faculty Award is meant to recognize the very highest achievement in research and scholarship and can be awarded only once in a person's career. 

Our winners are:
Dr. Gregory Setliff, department of Biology

Dr. Wing Hong Tony Wong, department of Mathematics

Please welcome Alex Ogeka, executive director of the Kutztown University Foundation, to present the annual Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.  


Established in 1994, KU has recognized outstanding faculty through the presentation of the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching as final award at our opening day gathering.

The Kutztown University Foundation and Alumni Association are proud to sponsor the Wiesenberger Award.  Joining me on stage to assist in the presentation of the award to the 30th recipient is Malcom Huggins, director of Alumni Engagement.

The 2023 recipient of the Arthur and Isabel Wiesenberger Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching is:
Dr. Carrie Nordlund, department of Art Education

Congratulations to all our award winners this morning.  Please welcome President Hawkinson back to the podium for final remarks.


Congratulations to all those who were honored with awards, tenure, and promotion – your dedication to our institution truly makes a positive contribution to our community.

We had many accomplishments last year and many challenges – and I look forward to the accomplishments to come … as well as the challenges – they are inevitable, but working together we can meet them and come out stronger as an institution. 

Transparency and Openness 
I will continue to meet with numerous units, offices, and constituents through the course of the coming year.  My schedule is provided to the Council of Trustees before each meeting and is public record for anyone to review in the trustee meeting book that is available in the library.  

Ann Marie and I will continue to host numerous events at our home.  The ninth faculty art exhibit is being hung in the residence now with around 25 works on display, and faculty continue to submit their books for display in the library.  Numerous people view the art and books each year, and we are delighted to display the talent and scholarship of our faculty.

In the coming year, I will continue to host a monthly open “office hour” so that anyone can come and speak with me on any issue.  

We have in place a number of roundtable/advisory groups and these groups will continue to meet and provide important advice:

Advisory Groups  

  • President’s Faculty Advisory Group
  • President’s Roundtable on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse
  • President’s Town/Gown Council
  • Provost Faculty Advisory Group
  • Human Resources Advisory Group
  • Marketing Faculty and Staff Advisory Group
  • International Programs Faculty Advisory Group
  • Alumni Board
  • Foundation Board
  • There are numerous other advisory groups such as those serving Instructional Technology, and in other areas.

Of course, I meet with leaders of the unions, senate, and other campus leaders to learn of their concerns and suggestions to improve our university community, as well as meetings with area leaders in business and other professions.  I continue to serve on the board of directors for Hawk Mountain, Berks Encore, and Berks Alliance.  I am chair of the board of directors for the PSAC and chair the board that governs the CBFS.  As the representative from the Commission of Presidents, I work with the presidents of the community colleges of Pennsylvania, and we jointly signed a major agreement of cooperation last April.  I also serve on a state-wide board that works to enhance our relationship with universities in India. 

I meet regularly with the mayor of Kutztown and host town/gown meetings at my house for local elected officials, police chiefs, faculty/staff and community leaders, and leading members of the business community. 

I pledge to continue to work with the faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, and all other constituencies to do all in my power to continue to move the university forward, to ensure our sustainability, and enhance the important role our university plays in our region and society. 

Much good is happening at Kutztown University. And, yes, through hard work, perseverance, and grit, we have positioned our university well for the future. Let us all strive to go forward with a humility and a gratefulness that will unite us. As we work to create an enlightened community and strong educational experience for our students. 

And so, this concludes our 2023 Faculty and Staff Convocation and Celebration.  My best wishes to you all!  Have a great year!