Dr. Kathy Humphrey is the fifth candidate for SRU’s presidential position.
Dr. Kathy Humphrey, the fifth candidate for SRU’s presidency, is in her seventh year serving as Vice Provost and Dean of Students at the University of Pittsburgh.
Humphrey said her philosophy is that it’s all about the students. She spent her entire career building bridges for students to cross in order to build their future and she believes that she can continue doing that here.
SRU has already established a culture that is successfully preparing students, and that interests her. The core business of this university is to really make a difference in the lives of its students during their education, during the process of being on this campus, and after they leave here, Humphrey said.
Humphrey believes that SRU is a strong institution for higher education with a new and well-defined identity. It is accustomed to leaders who are outcome-driven and are interested in the success of the institution.
When she thinks about the identity and the mission of the university, she sees that she can connect with it.
Humphrey said that SRU provides students with a superior learning experience that intentionally combines academic instructions with applied learning opportunities that will help students in the increasingly complex world.
This tells Humphrey that SRU is a place that is building bridges to help students get to their futures.
She shares the views that the university has on having a civil community, mutual respect, and pride in accomplishment. If chosen, she said she will be committed to continuing the values of this institution with the knowledge that she has gained about the region already.
Because she works in the region, she knows about the budget cuts and already has contacts in this region that she will be able to bring with her. The depth of her experience is in all aspects of the educational enterprise, she said.
She has worked on every side of the academic enterprise, including operational areas, academic areas and business areas. She has worked with all pieces of the institution and she has done that strategically in order to prepare for this position.
Humphrey mentioned that one of the biggest challenges the university may have is the threat of a 20 percent cut in state funding. She suggests that this can be prevented by aggressively creating new revenue streams and new ways of bringing funding into this institution.
She proposed a consideration for the renovation of the library, because this is the core of a university and it affects both the inside and outside of the classroom experience for students and faculty. It is the very nature of what a university stands for, she said.
Humphrey is excited about the opportunity to serve in a way that will be productive and helpful to this community, to form on the foundation that has already been established.
She is not afraid of the challenges that this institution is facing; she is energized by it, because if they are figured out, they can be changed. Humphrey said she doesn’t see the position as a job, but as a way of completing her life’s purpose, which means that her work in it will be very different; it will be passionate and committed.
Lastly she said, she won’t rest until SRU is one the best institutions for higher education in the world.
In relation to sustainability, Humphrey said that she has a commitment to it and believes in the goals that have been created in relation to that and she is interested to hear how we can do it well.
“Every opportunity that we have where we can engage in a real dialogue, create real theory to put in real practice, will help us to sustain ourselves and our great-great grandchildren,” Humphrey said.
For Humphrey, the revenue streams that we must create are something that we need to sit down and talk about.
“We cannot allow cuts to happen without speaking. It is our responsibility to speak up on behalf of those people who cannot afford higher education, and it is our responsibility as citizens in Pennsylvania to say that we have a goal that education will be afforded to people in this state so that we can be better prepared and increase the life of the state through the educational system,” Humphrey said.
Humphrey’s philosophy of education includes providing an opportunity for students to advance themselves through education, which is also in the core of our existence as a successful country.
Her opinion on distance education is that it is potentially a way that we can start the community. She also believes it is another way to create revenue streams into the institution, if SRU does it well.
She is for distance education as long as it is used to support the core business of this institution and does not become the core business itself.
Dr. Humphrey believes that athletes are students first and foremost. The role that athletics plays is to give students the opportunity to hold one of their skills to the highest level and, in doing so, become not only a strong athlete but also a stronger person.
“Athletics has a way to help us with recruitment, it is a way .of raising funds and developing, it is a support system but it is also a main delivery system,” Humphrey said. “It also provides a structure for student retention because it provides some structure to students in order to be successful.”
Humphrey stressed how important every area in the university is and that we have to be prepared with the new programs and new resources that we decide have to be put in place in order for us to be competitive.
She thinks that nothing teaches you about who you are better than the student environment.
The greatest lesson she learned is that she can’t do everything without partners. If she doesn’t develop strong partnerships, she can’t be nearly as mighty or strong without the community or the people with her.
“It is not about being successful at any cause,” Humphrey said. “It is about being successful and everybody being proud of that.”