Neupauer and Humphrey safe choices for SRU presidency, each has unique set of experiences

Published by adviser, Author: Emily Hunter - Rocket Contributor, Date: February 17, 2012

With only one presidential candidate left to visit campus it is reassuring to know that the future leadership of Slippery Rock lies in the hands of one of the six accomplished professionals, now that the presidential search committee is no longer keeping the final candidate a secret.  However, no particular candidate stands out as my future president.  There isn’t one person running that I would approve of leading almost 10,000 students, faculty and staff at SRU.

Either the fourth or fifth presidential candidate would be a safe choice for Slippery Rock University. Both Dr. NicholasNeupauer and Dr. Kathy Humphrey are currently employed in western Pennsylvania at The University of Pittsburgh and Butler County Community College (BC3), respectively.

They should be able to handle our Snow Rain University and make a long-term commitment to a university with constantly changing unpleasant weather. Dr. Nicholas Neupauer would be the only candidate that has previous experience in a presidential position that has not been dismissed from their employment. However, Dr. Kathy Humphrey could also be a safe choice because even though she is currently a vice president, she works at the largest and most prestigious university of all the other candidates.

Dr. Nicholas Neupauer continued the trend of a decrease in age as the presidential candidates marched on.  Neupauer is currently 45 years old and already has been the president at BC3 for five years. If the decrease in age trend continued, I was wondering if I was the sixth presidential candidate and the search committees just forgot to tell me my application was accepted.

Neupauer, the fourth presidential candidate, is the only of the six candidates to have his degree in something other than education.

Neupauer was the first in his family to attend college and graduated from Lincoln High School in Ellwood City in 1985.Neupauer received his terminal degree from West Virginia University in communication and attended Clarion, Penn State Beaver and Penn State main campus for his additional degrees.  Ironically, former President Robert M. Smith also has his degree in communication.

Personally, even as an education major, I feel Neupauer’s degree in communication can lead to a competent presidency as a successful communicator. Currently as a president of BC3 Neupauer is making $159,000 after the Butler County Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved his reappointment in 2010, according toBC3’s website.

Neupauer made it very clear that he knew President Smith well. Smith served on BC3‘s Board of Trustees.

However, during the open forum we were all informed that he had breakfast with Smith the day he became BC3president. When asked how he was similar and different to Smith, Neupauer couldn’t come up with a response.

Dr. Kathy Humphrey is the fifth presidential candidate at SRU and has been employed at the University of Pittsburgh for the past seven years as vice president and dean of students. Humphrey is the first of the presidential candidates to have her Ph. D. not from West Virginia University or Columbia University. Humphrey received her Ph. D. in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.

One area where Humphrey’s Curriculum Vita and background is lacking is in research.

Humphrey has no peer-reviewed publications, chapters or books.  There is not even a dissertation stated in her Curriculum Vita. In order to be a quality faculty member at any university research is encouraged. What is the main purpose of a university, to develop scholarship or produce living-learning communities?

I would personally like my university president to have at least my research experience that I have developed during my master’s study at SRU.

Previously, Humphrey was a finalist for the presidency position at Edinboro University. Humphrey was the seventh and last candidate in the Edinboro search.

During the open session for Humphrey, the audience had a few questions, which lead to many odd periods of silence.  Either the audience was tired after four candidates or her personality could have been too overpowering.

If chosen to be president, Humphrey would be the first female and first minority president at Slippery Rock University.


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