Deans selected for integrated university’s academic colleges


Dr. Scott Miller, senior vice president of Academic Affairs and provost for the western integrated university, today announced the deans selected to lead the integrated university’s colleges.

The new institution, representing the integration of California, Clarion and Edinboro, will operate under a single program array with six colleges:

Deans were named for all of the colleges except Health Sciences, for which the dean is expected to be selected from among internal applicants.

Dr. Laura Delbrugge, dean of Clarion’s College of Arts and Sciences since 2019, will lead the College of Arts and Humanities. As a member of multiple integration planning teams, she assisted in developing the new university’s academic structure and processes for its implementation, as well as its multi-year goals, all of which are anchored in expanding student opportunity, success and affordability.

At Clarion, Delbrugge, who brings significant experience in shared governance, oversees six academic departments and supervises 85 faculty members and eight clerical staff. She provided crisis leadership in response to the coronavirus pandemic, overseeing the rapid transition in March 2020 of lectures, laboratory classes and art studios to a fully-online format. She has shepherded significant curricular revisions and is a member of the Clarion University Presidential Commission on Veteran and Military Affairs. She has provided service at the State System level, including membership on the PA State System Commission for Shared Governance and the PA State System Redesign Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Brenda Fredette, dean of California’s Eberly College of Science and Technology since 2018, will lead the College of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology for the integrated university. She is a member of the Integration Functional Implementation Team for Academic Affairs, multiple associated subcommittees, and was co-chair in 2020 for the program array sub-team, which was charged with developing recommendations for the new university’s discipline and program offerings.

At California, Fredette oversees six academic departments, as well as the learning commons and a Title III Strengthening Institutions grant. She provided leadership in development of multiple new programs including veterinary technology. Fredette was instrumental in Cal U’s recent reorganization and sustainability plan. She has participated in multiple professional development activities focused on leadership, diversity and student success. In 2020, she received a $2.1 million Department of Education grant to fund “Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities” and was a partner in a grant-funded project to address student success challenges through technology.

Dr. Phillip Frese, Clarion’s dean of the College of Business Administration and Information Sciences since 2013, will lead the integrated university’s College of Business, Communication & Information Sciences. He co-leads the General Education Committee to integrate the general education programs in support of the new university, and he works with the Academic Functional Implementation Team and multiple associated subcommittees.

At Clarion, Frese incorporated data analytics to meet employers’ needs, thus strengthening the business core. He developed graduate programs in accounting and data analytics, as well as an online MBA with added concentrations. He increased fundraising to support faculty research and restructured the college’s Business Advisory Council to increase participation and input by the council. He led the college’s American Association for Collegiate Schools of Business reaccreditation process and is active in AACSB, for which he has served as peer reviewer.

Dr. Gwyneth Price, Clarion’s dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services, has been selected as dean of the integrated university’s College of Education. During the integration process, she has been a member of the Academic Functional Implementation Team and the Academic Integration Planning Workgroup, and she co-leads the Academic Program Synthesis and Alignment subgroup. In this role, she facilitated the hard work of the faculty on developing the curriculum for the newly integrated programs.

At Clarion, Price positioned the former School of Education to return to college status. It merged with the College of Health and Human Services to form one college, led by Price. She has worked alongside an assistant dean, eight department chairs, 89 faculty members and 10 clerical staff. She led the college through CAEP accreditation and has worked to maintain accreditations in other disciplines. She facilitated scheduling of courses during a semester of remote instruction and coordinated the launch of a continuing education series focusing on best practices for teaching remotely, featuring the expertise of faculty in the School of Education. Price is president of Pennsylvania Colleges and Teacher Educators and serves as co-chair of the Middle States Standard III committee.

Dr. Kristen Majocha, California University’s dean of the College of Education and Liberal Arts since 2018, will be dean of the integrated university’s College of Social Sciences and Human Services. As a member of the Academic Affairs Functional Implementation Team, she helped develop a responsive program array, restructured colleges and departments, and strategically assigned faculty. She was a co-lead for the Academic Affairs Structure subgroup and is a member of the Honors working group and Special Fees working group.

At Cal U, Majocha oversees six academic departments, including social sciences and human services, which includes 120 faculty and numerous support staff. She recently shepherded the college through accreditations, include CAEP, and grant awards. She reorganized campus undergraduate colleges from three colleges to two with shared governance, resulting in more than $1 million savings annually. She was part of a team that met and exceeded financial sustainability goals without retrenchment and furloughs. Her focus is careful planning that serves students, serves workforce needs, honors culture and is sustainable. This requires a data-driven look at return on investment when building competitively priced programs. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Majocha is deeply invested in developing programs in the social sciences and human services that effectively meet the post-graduation goals of students.