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President Scolforo resigns

By Yuliani Sutedjo

Knightly News Reporter

Karen M. Scolforo, Central Penn’s ninth president, resigned Friday morning.

Scolforo, who was appointed president in mid-2013, said in a posting on her Facebook page, and later in a special edition of the college’s employee newsletter, Central Station, distributed at 10:20 a.m., “the Board (of directors) has agreed to accept my resignation, and to enact a well-thought out transition plan.”

The announcement was also made Friday in the student email newsletter Student Central.

Scolforo announced in an email to faculty and staff during the first week of September, and also in Central Station, that she had applied for a job as president of a university in New England, for family reasons.

“Many of you have heard me tout a family first mantra, and many have appreciated the support I’ve provided in this regard for all of our Central Penn College family members,” Scolforo wrote in the special edition of Central Station on Friday. “You’ll recall that on September 5th I published a special edition of Central Station to notify you of my decision to apply to a position closer to my family.”

On Friday afternoon, after she had left campus, Scolforo told The Knightly News: “My mother is sick, and I want to be closer to her, and help my family. I miss everyone (at Central Penn).”

Scolforo had applied to Castleton University, part of the Vermont university system, which has about full-time 2,000 students, in Castleton, Vt. She is one of three candidates, according to Castleton’s website.

Carol Wilson Spigner, D.S.W., chair of Central Penn’s board of directors, also told The Knightly News on Friday that Scolforo decided to resign for family reasons.

Scolforo declined Friday to address her candidacy at Castleton, but she said in her early-September message to the Central Penn community that the Castleton board of directors plans to make a decision by Oct. 1.

“Dr. Karen M. Scolforo has resigned from the presidency of Central Penn College for personal reasons,” the board of directors said in a message in Central Station Friday. “Dr. Linda Fedrizzi-Williams, vice president of academic affairs and Richard Varmecky, chief financial officer will serve as interim co-presidents and Carol W. Spigner, D.S.W. will serve as executive director of the college on behalf of the board. This team will provide continuity and stability during this period of transition. The Central Penn College board of directors will begin the process of selecting the next leader immediately.”

Scolforo applied to Castleton in late June. From Sept.11 through 13, she visited Castleton University, and gave a live presentation on the 13th. Some Central Penn College faculty and staff watched the Web broadcast of Scolforo’s presentation.

During her tenure, according to her curriculum vitae, Scolforo achieved many accomplishments for Central Penn, including:

  • Building The Underground, which includes the Capital BlueCross Theatre, a dance studio she sponsored, a weight room, student lounge and student government and other offices
  • Installation of a health-sciences building
  • Appointment of the school’s first diversity officer
  • Appointment of the school’s first Title IX and compliance officers

Yuliani Sutedjo is Student Government Association president and vice president of the Knightly News Media Club.

Edited by media club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.

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