Dr. Nicholas Neupauer, the fourth presidential candidate to visit Slippery Rock University, participated in his open forum interview Friday afternoon to address questions from both students and faculty.
Neupauer, who is the current president at Butler County Community College, believes that his experience in a wide range of areas is what most qualifies him for the position as the president of Slippery Rock University. Neupauer, who is originally from Ellwood City, Pa., is quite familiar with the Western Pennsylvania area as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
“My wife Tammy and I both graduated from Clarion University, and I have an uncle, cousins, and friends who are all proud graduates of Slippery Rock,” he said. “I definitely have roots within the state system.”
Neupauer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism from Penn State University, a Master of Science in communication from Clarion University, and a Doctorate of Education in communication and instruction from West Virginia University. He acted as an assistant professor and chair of the communication department at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., from 1996 to 1999. Neupauer has also taught at West Virginia University from 1993 to 1996 and Bethany College from 1995 to 1996. Upon joining the faculty at Butler County Community College in 1999, he was given the position of the dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
He remained in the position until 2004. During his time as Dean of the college, he partnered with Slippery Rock University’s College of Education to create a Praxis preparation program. From 2004 to 2007, Neupauer served as Vice President for Academic Affairs for Butler County Community College, becoming president of the institution in 2007.
All the while, he continued to serve as adjunct professor teaching communication courses at the college.
“I have served as a graduate assistant, teaching assistant, visiting assistant professor, assistant professor, chair, dean, vice president, and president all by the age of 40,” he said. “I understand the importance of working with elected officials and working with the commonwealth to help achieve its goals.”
Neupauer believes that many students come to SRU for the positive academic reputation, and that the university is continuing to prosper, which is one of the main reasons why he is attracted to the position as president.
“I believe that the future possibilities of the university are limitless,” he said. “I understand the challenges and decisions that this position will bring and I intend to keep the university heading in a positive direction.”
Neupauer feels that living in the president’s residence would provide himself as well as his wife and daughters with a unique opportunity. Neupauer’s daughters, Paige, 17, and Meredith, 13, are both students in the Slippery Rock School District.
The last trait that Neupauer said qualified him for the position was his leadership ability.
“I plan on reaching out to students and generating revenue,” he said. “We’re all in this together.”