Schuylkill chancellor Austin named associate VP for Commonwealth Campuses

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kelly M. Austin, chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill, has been named associate vice president for administration in the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses, the University announced today (June 21). Austin will begin serving as associate vice president effective Aug. 1.

“Kelly is an accomplished leader and administrator. He brings a wealth of experience to the post. He has successfully led the Schuylkill campus for the last five years, building excellent relationships with area organizations, businesses and local schools. He is an excellent steward of Penn State and has represented the University and the Schuylkill campus well in the broader community. I look forward to having him join our senior team to serve our 20 Commonwealth Campuses, advancing our commitment to student success,” said Madlyn Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor.  

“It is a great honor to join the Office of the Vice President of Commonwealth Campuses,” said Austin. “The 20 Commonwealth Campuses have a long tradition of providing transformational experiences to students across the state. I am excited for the opportunity to work with campus leadership, faculty and staff across Penn State pressing forward the University’s access mission.”

Austin has served as Penn State Schuylkill’s chancellor since 2012. During his tenure, the campus increased its retention and graduation rates, added academic program offerings in response to regional economic demands, and strengthened Penn State Schuylkill’s relationship with community partners, alumni, students and their families. Through these efforts, the campus surpassed the “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students” campaign goal, raising much needed resources for scholarships, capital projects and faculty research, and secured the largest gift in campus history.

Austin led the development of the campus strategic plan, designed to guide campus growth from 2014 to 2019. He launched an extensive renovation program across the Schuylkill campus aimed at improving the quality of facilities, technology and infrastructure. The campus renovated a biology teaching laboratory, built a new biology research laboratory, revamped residence halls, upgraded its auditorium/performing arts venue, and added social and recreational spaces for students, including expanded dining facilities.

Beyond Schuylkill, Austin has played a leadership role across Penn State. He was elected chair of the Council of Campus Chancellors, which comprises the 20 chancellors from Commonwealth Campuses, for the 2015-16 academic year. Austin is a member of the University Strategic Plan Oversight Committee and chaired the Penn State University Athletic Conference executive committee through a period of reorganization.

Prior to joining Penn State, Austin was vice president of finance and administration at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from 2008 to 2012. While at Pitt-Johnstown, he also served as vice president of student affairs and director of student union and student activities. Previously, Austin served in multiple roles working directly with students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Slippery Rock University in management and student personnel administration, respectively, his MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and his doctorate in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.