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  March 31, 2003

Triponey To Take Up Post At Penn State

Vicky Triponey, vice chancellor for student affairs, has announced that she will become vice president for student affairs at Pennsylvania State University on July 1.

Image: Vicky Triponey

Vicky Triponey

Graham Spanier, president of Penn State, said in a written statement, "Vicky Triponey is one of the leading student affairs officers in the country. She is known nationally for her visionary leadership and her very strong commitment to student development." Penn State has 24 campuses and 83,000 students.

Triponey has served as vice chancellor at UConn since April 1998. She previously worked at Wichita State University and the universities of Virginia, Georgia and Pittsburgh. In accepting the job at Penn State, she will be returning to her home state.

At UConn, Triponey's portfolio included campus activities, career services, counseling services, the office of the Dean of Students, dining services, residential life, Student Health Services, and the Center for Students with Disabilities.

"As a member of the administrative team at UConn, Vicky has been instrumental in the continued evolution of the Student Affairs organization," said Chancellor John D. Petersen. "She has made significant contributions to the University that will be realized well into the future."

Triponey's time at UConn has been eventful. Just weeks after she arrived in Storrs, nearly 90 people, including about 40 UConn students, were arrested during a turbulent Spring Weekend. A Task Force on Community and Civility, which Triponey chaired, was set up soon afterward in an effort to improve students' sense of community and responsibility.

She oversaw changes to the Student Code of Conduct, and by-law changes that moved coordination of the academic probation and dismissal process from the Dean of Students' office to the Office of Undergraduate Education, allowing the Dean of Students' office to focus on community building.

Triponey has undertaken a number of other initiatives that seek to create a more welcoming environment that cultivates a greater sense of belonging and a more cohesive community among students, faculty and staff.

She has spearheaded dramatic changes in residential life on campus. The new South Campus residence halls, already under construction, were completed during her first summer at UConn. Since then, other new suite-style and apartment housing has been added, to provide students with a full range of housing options. Triponey has emphasized that students can now move from a traditional residence hall room to a suite to an apartment, as they prepare for living on their own after graduation. In addition, Northwest Campus has been completely renovated and new programs established for first-year students.

Triponey has led the creation of opportunities for students to merge their academic and social lives. These "living and learning" experiences have included offering clusters of rooms to students taking the same major, providing some classes in the residence halls, and having a handful of faculty and professional staff resident on campus.

Also during her tenure, the Wilbur Cross Building was renovated and transformed to offer the majority of student services in a single place. And construction began on expanding and enhancing the Student Union, to turn the outmoded, 50-year-old building into a community center for faculty, staff, and students.

Triponey has been involved at the national level in several higher education organizations. She has chaired the council of student affairs for the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and also served on the board of directors of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

The Chancellor said a nationwide search for her successor will begin later this year.

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