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Pa. state universities’ chancellor says she’ll step down in 2008


The chief executive of Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities gave notice Monday that she plans to resign more than a year from now.

Judy G. Hample, who was appointed chancellor of the State System of Higher Education in August 2001, said she will step down from her $327,718-a-year job on July 31, 2008. She did not say why or indicate what her future plans were.

Hample, 59, who is one of the state’s highest-paid employees, will leave one year before her current contract is set to expire in 2009.

Previously the chancellor of Florida’s university system, she became the second chancellor of Pennsylvania’s system, which was founded in 1983.

In a statement, she said the universities have made “tremendous progress” toward improving the education they provide.

Gov. Ed Rendell and Kenneth M. Jarin, chairman of the system’s governing board, praised Hample for achievements that included boosting the system’s enrollment to record levels from less than 100,000 to more than 109,000 and improving student retention and graduation rates.

“Dr. Hample’s tenure has been marked with clear improvement in every facet of the … system,” Rendell said. “She has done an excellent job in helping (the system) hold tuition increases under the rate of inflation, something that has been achieved by very few state systems.”

The union representing 5,500 university professors, which is negotiating with Hample’s administration for a contract to replace the one that will expire Saturday, gave Hample mixed reviews.

Pat Heilman, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, said Hample has successfully lobbied for more funding and helped the universities earn national recognition for their academic quality.

But Heilman said Hample has implemented certain academic policy changes without consulting faculty, such as standardizing across all the campuses the number of credits needed for bachelor’s degrees.

“I think there could have been more attention to working with the faculty,” Heilman said.

During the last round of negotiations, a tentative agreement was not reached until February 2004 more than seven months after the previous contract expired and only after Rendell intervened.

The state system schools are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester universities.

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