Appointed President, Family Visit Campus, Meet With Students

Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, the appointed incoming president of Frostburg State University, visited campus on Wednesday, February 24, delivering remarks at an open forum and meeting with several delegations across campus. Nowaczyk was joined by his wife, Maureen Lavan, and son, Jake Nowaczyk.

Nowaczyk, who is currently the Provost at Clarion University in western Pennsylvania, met with the Dean’s Council before addressing the campus community in the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall at 11 a.m. Nowaczyk was introduced by University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret, who ultimately made the final decision to appoint Nowaczyk.

Nowaczyk’s remarks were characterized by an emphasis on student success, noting a large appreciation of Frostburg’s experiential learning programs. “Frostburg, quite frankly, is ahead of many institutions for experiential learning,” Nowaczyk said. “This is a generation that wants to do things. They want to get involved instead of sitting in a class and taking notes.”

Regional development also seems to be a intended hallmark of Nowaczyk’s presidency. “The one word you will continue to hear from me is ‘region,'” he said. Nowaczyk noted that he also “envisions strengthening our role as a regional partner,” further coordinating with the town of Frostburg and the Allegany County region to provide economic growth and development. “When we talk about a declining middle class, well, it’s regional universities that are going to make that change,” he said.

While economic development and student success were highlights of the remarks, Nowaczyk also gave a preview of his presidency and agenda, noting that “we will address the university system priorities.” Nowaczyk further stated that “communication and transparency will be crucial to [his] presidency” and that the campus will “also need to make sure that the facilities… keep pace with our academic outreach.”

The scripted remarks were followed by an open question and answer period. Gerry LaFemina, associate professor of English, asked Nowaczyk about his support for the performing arts and liberal arts academic programs. Nowaczyk responded with support, noting that “this school is critical for providing the arts to this area.” Greg Wood, associate professor of history and Honors Program director, asked Nowaczyk about his experience and support of honors education in universities. Citing his experience instructing honors students in his own teaching career, Nowaczyk noted the importance of programs challenging high achieving students, calling honors education “critical.”

Later, student leaders from various organizations on campus met with Nowaczyk for a dinner to discuss the state of the campus and his upcoming presidency. At the dinner, Nowaczyk noted his desire to potentially teach in the department of Psychology, as well as his family’s desire to be an active member of the FSU community. “We do look forward to making this community our home,” Nowaczyk stated, adding that his current residence is within walking distance of Clarion University.

Nowaczyk officially takes on his new role on May 9. He states that “for the next several months, I will be listening and asking questions.”

Information regarding Nowaczyk’s appointment can be found here.

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