Dr. James H. Ryan

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Vice President Emeritus for Outreach The Pennsylvania State University
Nominee:  Graham B. Spanier

James Ryan served for 13 years as Penn State’s first Vice President for Outreach. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination of the University’s external outreach initiatives and for the administrative units of Continuing Education, Distance Education/World campus, Public Broadcasting, and Cooperative Extension. With over 1000 faculty and staff, Penn State Outreach is the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million students, participants, viewers, and listeners at over 500 locations, from all 50 states and 80 countries annually.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Ryan was the Campus Executive Officer [Chancellor] for the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus for nine years. He has also served as a faculty member in public administration and held various administrative positions in academic affairs, institutional advancement, and college student personnel with Indiana University and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since his retirement in 2004, he has been active as a consultant with various universities and the Worldwide Universities Network.

A native of Danville, Pennsylvania, he received his baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees from SUNY, Buffalo. Dr. Ryan has taught, written, and lectured widely on leadership, managerial decision-making, organizational change and development, information technology, distance education and the role of higher education in economic development. He has been active in many national and community organizations where he has served in leadership positions. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including the University Continuing Education Association [UCEA] International Futures Award for Exceptional and Innovative Leadership.

Nomination Portfolio