Interim chancellor named at Penn State Beaver

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When Gary B. Keefer retired Monday as chancellor at Penn State Beaver, Donna J. Kuga, the campus’‍ director of academic affairs, stepped into a six-month term as his interim replacement.

Ms. Kuga joined the Beaver campus in Center in 1981 as an instructor in exercise and sport science. In 1996, she became an associate professor of kinesiology and was appointed to her current administrative position in 1998.

Mr. Keefer has been at the Beaver campus since 1996, starting as director of academic affairs and professor of engineering, and becoming campus CEO in 1998 — the title that was changed to ‘‍chancellor’‍ in 2005. He is the longest-serving chancellor in Beaver campus history. The chancellor oversees all campus operations.

Ms. Kuga had planned to retire on June 30, but agreed to stay on while the search committee is looking for a permanent chancellor. She expects to retire in December.

A native of Hopewell, Ms. Kuga, class of 1978, is a Penn State University graduate, with a B.S. degree in health and physical education. She earned a master of education in Administration of Physical Education and Athletics from Slippery Rock University in 1982.

She earned a doctorate degree in Administration and Policy Studies in Higher Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. Ms. Kuga now lives in Brighton.

Her role as interim chancellor will be to oversee a “keep steady” course, she said. “I’‍m not planning major changes.”

The campus has an enrollment of 700 students, with the capacity to accommodate 1,200.

“We would like to get to 900 students in the next few years,” Ms. Kuga said.

Mr. Keefer, a native of Hopwood, Fayette County, attended Penn State Fayette for two years. At West Virginia University, he received his doctorate in environmental engineering with minors in inorganic chemistry and chemical engineering.

He has been active in the community as a member of the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Beaver County. He is licensed as a commercial and private pilot and served on the Beaver County Airport Advisory Committee.

Under Mr. Keefer’‍s leadership, five new academic baccalaureate degrees were established.

In 2006, he received the 22nd Outstanding Alumnus of Penn State Fayette Award. During his watch, several new facilities, including a wellness center which earlier this year was named in his honor, were constructed.

Linda Wilson Fuoco: or 412-722-0087.

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