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April 13, 2011

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab




SRU president announces four appointments


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Robert Smith, Slippery Rock University president, Tuesday announced four new appointments, including two deans, a new director of Career Services and a new director of SRU’s Honors Program.

The appointments are:

·         Kurt Schimmel, dean of SRU’s College of Business, Information and Social Sciences. He had formerly served as associate dean of the School of Business at Robert Morris University;

·         Kathleen Strickland, dean of SRU’s College of Education, she had formerly served as interim dean of the college and as a professor of English at SRU;

·         John Rindy, director of SRU’s Career Services Office. He had formerly served as dean/director of educational outreach at Thiel College; and

·         Bradley Wilson, SRU professor of philosophy, named to lead SRU’s Honor Program.

Schimmel, who had served as Robert Morris since 2005, assumes his new post at SRU July 1. He replaces Bruce Russell, who retired in 2010. David Valentine has served in the post as interim while a national search was conducted. Valentine will return to teaching as a professor of computer science.

“We welcome Dr. Schimmel and know he will continue the expansion of our college,” Smith said. “Kurt brings with him a wealth of experience and I look forward to working with him on the challenges currently faced in higher education. His expertise will be valuable as SRU launches its strategic plan for 2025 and beyond.”

“Dr. Schimmel is a terrific addition to our University,” said William Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The candidate pool from which he was selected was exemplary. I have every confidence that he is ready to lead our College of Business, Information and Social Sciences as it continues to grow and service, not only current and future students, but the entire region.”

“I look forward to bringing my experiences in engaged learning environments to help the students at Slippery Rock University build a strong foundation for future careers,” Schimmel said.

He earned his doctor of business administration from Cleveland State University and his masters of business administration with marketing and management concentrations and bachelor of arts in journalism degrees from Duquesne University.

He has served as interim department head in management at Robert Morris and as director of graduate studies in the PI Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University where he integrated marketing communication, advertising and public relations.

Schimmel has served as a professor, and associate and assistant professor of marketing in Robert Morris’ School of Business. He was an assistant professor of advertising at West Virginia University.

SRU’s College of Business, Information and Social Sciences includes the School of Business, and the communication, computer science, criminology and criminal justice, military science, professional studies and safety management departments. Currently more than 9,530 students are enrolled in the college.


Strickland, who will officially assume the dean’s post June 4, joined the SRU faculty in 1988 as an instructor in the curriculum and instruction department. She was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor in 1993 and then to full professor in 1998, transferring to the English department in 2003. She has served as chair of the elementary education department and was named interim dean in 2009, replacing C. Jay Hertzog, who retired.

“Kathleen has done a truly outstanding job as interim dean and I am certain will continue as an outstanding leader of the college,” Smith said. “Our College of Education faculty are comfortable with her style of leadership, and I am certain she will continue to lead the college as new Pennsylvania regulations covering teacher education are implemented.”

“This is a very important time in teacher education development in Pennsylvania, and I believe Dr. Strickland is the perfect person to see that Slippery Rock University’s programs meet and exceed the new standards,” Williams said. “I know she will guide our college to continued success in the coming years.”

“I am certainly excited about being chosen as dean. I know it will be a challenge, but I also know that the outstanding faculty in our College of Education are ready and willing to take on that challenge. It is an honor to serve as their dean. I know our college will continue be a local, statewide and national leader in teacher education,” Strickland said.

Strickland has received outstanding evaluations related to her teaching effectiveness and fulfillment of professional responsibilities, including leadership during the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education visit, work with SRU’s Storm Harbor Equestrian Center and the Academic Scholarship Program..

She was instrumental in establishing SRU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Educational Technology.

Strickland earned here doctorate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her masters and bachelor of science degrees at State University College, Buffalo.

Rindy, who joined the University April 4, served at Thiel for six years. He has served as an adjunct instructor in the geology and environmental studies department at Youngstown State University since 2003. He formerly served as a program manager and instructor at U.S. Micro-Solutions Inc. in Greensburg and as an industrial hygiene project manager at American Analytical Laboratories in Akron, Ohio.

He was chief operating officer for PennBrook Professional Group Inc. and Primecare Nevada Inc., located in Boardman, Ohio, and Round Maintain, Nev. He was also a project manager for Corning Industrial Laboratories Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio.

He is a doctoral student at Capella University and earned his masters degree in public health from Youngstown State University and a masters certificate in emergency and disaster management from Touro University. He earned his bachelor of science degree in environmental studies and his associate in applied business both from YSU.

He is a member of the board of directors of the Northwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center, and a member of the Mahoning County [Ohio] Hazardous Materials Team.

Wilson, who joined the SRU faculty in 1997, replaces April Longwell who is returning to Academic Services.

Wilson was hired as an assistant professor of philosophy and named associate professor in 2003. He was granted tenure in 2002.

The SRU Honors Program enrolls nearly 300 students and offers them the opportunity to game the most from their undergraduate career, including 21 credits hours of special course work in limited enrollment classes that emphasize extensive reading, critical thinking, intensive writing and group discussion. Those enrolled in the program are also required to participate in various honors activities, including community service, leadership and extra curricular programs.

Wilson, who has been called an “excellent and challenging teacher,” has served as chair of his department.

He earned his doctorate and masters degrees at the University of North Carolina and his bachelor of arts degree at Purdue University.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.