'Dr. Dale' will also continue as president of Clarion UniversityHARRISBURG, Pa. – The State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors today selected Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson to serve as interim president of Edinboro University, placing her in a unique leadership position with two of Pennsylvania’s public institutions.
Pehrsson will continue to serve as president of Clarion University, a position she's held since 2018, while also bringing her track record of success to Edinboro. She begins her new appointment at 5 p.m., Dec. 31, 2020.
"The appointment of Dr. Dale is yet another example of the faith we have in our leaders," Chancellor Dan Greenstein said. "Edinboro serves a critical role in the higher education landscape of northwestern Pennsylvania, and we're confident she values Edinboro's success as much as Clarion's and that of the whole System."
Pehrsson's achievements at Clarion include the highest retention rate of first-to-second-year students in 29 years; the highest retention rate of second-to-third-year students since Clarion began recording such data in 1990; the best fundraising total since 2013; and the establishment of a new Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.
"Edinboro's strength is found in its community, its incredible students, faculty, staff, and leaders, and in its spirit," Pehrsson said. "I look forward to being as deeply engaged with the Edinboro community as I am with the Clarion community. Working with the wonderful people at Edinboro, we will continue this momentous journey and will keep student success at the center of everything we do."
Pehrsson is part of a team overseeing a bold reform effort involving Edinboro, Clarion, and California universities of Pennsylvania. This effort involves integrating the three universities to expand and enhance student opportunities while also preserving their affordability.
"It's encouraging to see our universities embrace collaboration and innovation so deeply," Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira said. "By leading both Clarion and Edinboro, Dr. Pehrsson has become an embodiment of the 'sharing system' that we envision for the future."
Pehrsson replaces outgoing President Guiyou Huang. She has an extensive education portfolio, including degrees in arts, nursing, and liberal studies. She holds two master's degrees and a doctorate in education from Idaho State University, as well as a range of professional experiences as a frontline health care provider, a professionally licensed counselor, and health care administrator.
She began her teaching career in 1991 as an affiliate faculty member and clinical supervisor for counselor education at Idaho State. Her higher education teaching and administrative journey includes work at Sam Houston State University in Texas; Portland State University, Ore.; Oregon State University, Ore.; University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Nev.; Central Michigan University, Mich.; and Misericordia University, Pa.
Her appointment as interim president of Edinboro while also serving as president of Clarion enjoys the support of both university councils of trustees.
"This appointment puts Edinboro at the vanguard of the System redesign, allowing us to show everyone what can be achieved through collaboration," said Barbara Chaffee, chair of Edinboro's Council of Trustees. "With the appointment of Dr. Dale, we are not only sharing in her expertise and leadership, we are showing that innovation comes in all forms, and we are all in."
"Clarion and Edinboro are siblings, and we know that our own success is closely tied to the success of our sister institutions," said J.D. Dunbar, chair of Clarion's Council of Trustees. "This is fortuitous timing to collaborate with Edinboro in this new and innovative leadership paradigm."