Kelly M. Austin, vice president of finance and administration at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, has been named the new chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill, effective June 1. He replaces previous Schuylkill chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk, who moved to the same role at Penn State Berks in 2011. Stephen Couch, director of academic affairs, has served as interim chancellor since July.
"Dr. Austin brings exceptional
leadership experience to Penn State Schuylkill," said Madlyn Hanes, vice
president for Commonwealth Campuses. "His accomplished service in senior
administrative roles -- most notably in finance and business operations,
academic and student support and community relations -- speaks to his broad
"It is an honor and a privilege to
join the Penn State community, a nationally recognized institution of higher
learning, as chancellor of the Schuylkill campus," Austin said. "Penn
State Schuylkill's reputation for producing high quality graduates prepared for
the jobs of the future is well known, and the excellence attributed to the
first-class faculty and staff have positioned the campus for prosperity in an
increasingly unstable national and international climate. I look forward to working
with the campus community to serve the evolving workforce and cultural,
artistic and educational needs of the citizens of the region and beyond."
Austin has been in his current role since
2008, serving as the chief business and administration officer of the
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. His duties include the development and
implementation of a strategic plan, collaboration with senior officers to
ensure student retention and leading the development and implementation of the
campus operating budget, capital budget and auxiliary budget, among other
He also coordinates budget and
administrative operations within larger University of Pittsburgh operations and
oversees units including business operations, facilities management, athletics,
information technology, budget office, campus police, housing, human resources,
purchasing, the campus bookstore and dining services.
From 2007-08, Austin served as vice
president of student affairs, where his duties included the development of a comprehensive
outside-the-classroom student experience focused on leadership, involvement and
service. He worked to foster a campus-wide student-centered atmosphere and an
inclusive, open and safe environment while overseeing a residential student
population of 1,800.
"Dr. Austin is regarded by his
colleagues in the higher education community as an innovative leader, skillful
at building positive community relations and strategic planning, and committed
to shared governance and student-centered learning," Hanes said.
Austin earned his Ph.D. in administrative
and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds an M.B.A from
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and bachelor's and master's degrees from
Slippery Rock University.
Prior to joining the University of
Pittsburgh at Johnstown, he served in multiple roles working directly with
students at Embry-Riddle, including coordinator of first generation student
programs, education specialist and academic advisor for first year programs and
assistant director of student activities. He joined the University of
Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 2006 as director of student unions and student
He has been active in numerous community
service organizations, including United Way, Special Olympics, Make-A-Wish,
Habitat for Humanity and March of Dimes.
"I am confident that Penn State
Schuylkill will enjoy its long-standing tradition of educational excellence and
realize significant progress in the coming years under Dr. Austin's
leadership," Hanes said.