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Retiring Campus Chancellor to Speak at York Commencement May 13

Dr. Joel Rodney
Dr. Joel M. Rodney is the commencement speaker and will be retiring from Penn State on July 31, 2011.
4/28/2011 —

Penn State York will celebrate its 41st annual spring commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, May 13, in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center at the campus. Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of the campus, is the commencement speaker.

For those who cannot attend the event, Penn State York's commencement can be viewed on Comcast cable channel 18 and streaming on the website.

Rodney, 73, is retiring from the University effective July 31, and has accepted an appointment as visiting director of global partnerships for the University of South Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland, Fl.

Before he leaves, Rodney hopes to have the new certificate in entrepreneurial studies fully developed and operational, advance the goals of Penn State York’s capital campaign, and continue to improve services to students -- especially those from around the world.

Rodney originally came to the campus as the campus executive officer in March 2003 and when the University reorganized in 2005 he was named chancellor of Penn State York.

Under Rodney’s leadership the campus has earned an international designation from the University and the number of international students has grown significantly. Rodney was instrumental in designing a two-plus-two program in 2006 between Penn State and the Vidyalankar School of Information Technology in India that allows students from India to combine their first two years of university education in computer science in India with their final two years in information sciences and technology (IST) at Penn State York. The first students came to York in 2008 and the program continues to be strong.

In addition, Rodney helped found a multi-campus India Initiative which expanded the two-plus-two program in IST to six additional schools in India and now also includes the following Penn State campuses: Berks, Greater Allegheny, Hazleton, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Worthington Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, as well as York.

Also under Rodney’s leadership, the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center) on the campus was completed in 2005 and a theatre minor was added to the curriculum at York. The Edward M. Elias Science Building, featuring updated classroom and lab facilities, opened this summer and renovations are under way to the chemistry labs at the campus which will be transformed into a high-tech engineering facility, the Ralph G. and Madeline B. Swenson Engineering Center.

In the community, Rodney serves on numerous boards. He was recently honored by the York County Chamber of Commerce with the Exemplar Award for being the outstanding leader of the year. He is a member of the Rotary Club of York and serves on the boards of the Advanced Skills Center in York, the Susquehanna Heritage Trust, the Art Institute of York, and the York Area Regional Charter School. He held several posts including chair-elect, chair and other offices in the York County Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the board of directors and as vice president of the Crispus Attucks Association; he was on the board of directors of the York County Economic Development Corporation.
Rodney also is listed in Who’s Who in America and has served as a U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration grant and program reviewer.

In addition to hearing from Rodney, Penn State York will continue its tradition of the open microphone where graduates can speak for a moment. The top associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree graduates will also say a few words. A number of former Penn State York students who completed their degree work at another campus of Penn State will return to their home campus, York, to receive their degrees during the ceremony.

The campus will award associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees during the program. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

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