Dear Alumni and Friends of Penn State Abington,
I am writing to share with you the news that I intend to retire from my position as chancellor at the end of the calendar year. While I will miss this college community that I have come to love, the timing is right for me and for the college. For me, this is an exciting moment as I envision a return in my private life to two activities I have not been able to pursue for the last two decades: writing and teaching. So, it is a bittersweet moment. I will greatly miss my interactions with you and will cherish and maintain the friendships I have made, but I am grateful for the opportunity to move to a new and beckoning phase of my life.
This decision comes a year later than I had planned. Several years ago, I realized that I would never have a list of projects that was totally completed! And I also knew that I should not leave this community until certain important foundations had been laid or reaffirmed to support our college’s inevitable progress. This year, as chair of Penn State’s Academic Leadership Council and with the intensive support of Vice President Hanes and other university colleagues, I have been able to make a difference in moving these projects forward. In order to assure our progress, I extended my tenure by this one year. Now, these initiatives are in full swing and promise tangible outcomes.
This is the “little college that could”! We have worked together, with your loyal support, advice, and advocacy, to bring ourselves from the days of a two-year feeder campus to our current position as a leader among the five campus colleges. And still moving up in terms of enrollment, productivity, planning, academic excellence, and diversity! I simply cannot find the words to express my gratitude to all of you for believing in us, supporting us enthusiastically, and sharing your encouragement. It is always people who make a place great and you are all part of our success and will be part of our continued advancement.
I am an alumna and a donor and I look forward to relating to you all in a different way, as a caring and committed volunteer. We will have plenty of time to say our official farewells, but I wanted to start the process by letting you know of my plans and assuring you that you will always have my gratitude and affection.
With warm regards,
Karen Wiley Sandler, Ph.D.
Albert and Suzanne Lord Chancellor
Penn State Abington College