Although Kenn Marshall, spokesman for PASSHE, said that the presidential search committee has not begun efforts to look for WCU’s next president, Linda Lamwers, current provost and vice-president for academic affairs for 13 years, spoke out favorably on her imminent term as interim President of the University.In addition to continuing the legacy of President Madeleine Wing Adler, Lamwers has no intentions of completely altering the current dynamic of how the University is run.
“[However,] I am not going to keep the seat warm,” Lamwers said.
Lamwers said that she will still enforce the Plan for Excellence which was last updated in June 2007 to prolong the University’s ambitions and objectives.
In regards to fundraising, Lamwers said that she endeavors to expand on the projected definition that fundraising is simply raising money.
In fact, at a Monday, March 24 Council of Trustees meeting, it was reported that the University has raised $763,000 toward its $1.3 million goal.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to learn [more about it,]” Lamwers said.
Lamwers said that the University is in a comfortable position in terms of finances, but the University has to continue to respond to the decrease in state proportions allotted to the University.
“We need to diversify our resources,” Lamwers said.
Lamwers served as the interim president before in 2002, when Adler was on sabbatical.
“Madeleine has led in a way that [has allowed me] to know a lot about the University,” Lamwers said.
In regards to the University’s philosophy of Distributive Leadership, which delineates that each member is the University is both accountable and responsible for enacting the University’s actions, Lamwers said that distributive leadership has enabled the University to make better decisions.
“I think Distributive Leadership is a part of our culture at West Chester,” Lamwers said. “[It has] enabled the University to move very, very quickly.”
Lamwers also expressed that people have to have a firm understanding of not only what Distributive Leadership means, but also what it means to operate in this specific context.
Lamwers said she deems that the University’s greatest asset is “the product we produce.” Furthermore, she said that from the faculty’s contribution, to the students’ ability to say that they have changed as a result of a WCU education, everyone in the clerical areas, financial areas and grounds department are a part of the experience.
Specifically, Lamwers said she wants to focus on how the University can have more an effect on the surrounding areas’ needs.
“We could be a model for regional public higher institutions,” Lamwers said.
For example, the University recently opened its Autism clinic which Lamwers said responds to the regional needs in addition to providing educational benefits to the students who may be studying in that academic focus.
Lamwers has been to every continent except Antartica. She said that traveling and experiencing other cultures can be “a transformative experience.”
Lamwers said that she has had an advantage of being in a position where she is familiar with the campus in a particular way, but still wants to become more acquainted with athletics and housing.
“I feel incredibly honored,” Lamwers said. “But I also feel an incredible responsibility.”
Nicole Fortuna is a second-year student majoring in English with a concentration in Romantic languages. She can be reached at QuadEIC@wcupa.edu.