Administrator position to shift with new year

Tyler McNulty, News Editor

After six-and-a-half years as Academic Affairs Assistant Vice President, Paul Newman has resigned.

In his place, Kristen Majocha has been appointed as the academic affairs interim assistant vice president.

For the rest of the semester, Newman said he will be working with Majocha extensively, meeting every Monday for two hours.

He also said after finals week, Majocha will be working with him for eight hours a day for a week.

“I think (Majocha) will be well prepared to step in and take the reins,” Newman said.

Newman also said his secretary, Diane Walsh, will be a valuable resource for Majocha, as she knows the office inside and out.

Newman said holding an administrative position for the past six-and-a-half-years has taken up a majority of his life and put a pause on many things.

“With stepping down, I have the ability to continue my research for my journal, rejoin historical memberships I left and get to write a chapter in an anthology book as a tribute to a former mentor of mine,” Newman said.

In addition to resuming his teaching, Newman also is creating a new course, Public History.

“The goal with (Public History) is for the class to be a gateway for a Public History minor.”

Although Newman said he is excited to return to the History Department, one thing he will miss is reading the names of students at graduation.

“I was proud of every student’s name I called. I feel bad because I promised some if they got their grades up, I would read their names at graduation.”

Newman said, however, all of his administrative responsibilities will transfer to Majocha come the start of the spring semester.

Majocha said her main focus will be the retention of students, which she has been deeply invested in since she began at Pitt-Johnstown 11 years ago.

She also said she hopes for an improved graduation rate.

“We already have a high (graduation rate); we need to keep it steady and to improve it by a few percentage points over the next few years.”

Majocha is the international programs support and services director, so she already had a lessened course load than other professors. She is to continue as international program director.

“Balancing my new administrative position with next semester’s course load won’t be that much different than it is now since I’m already in an administrative position.”

Majocha said she is excited for her new position and that she is most looking forward to working with students.

“Helping students solve their problems gives me a great deal of joy,” Majocha said.