Lackawanna College President Mark Volk Announces Retirement, Board Names Dr. Jill Murray as Next President
Today, Friday, June 7, 2019, at a campus-wide forum, Lackawanna College President Mark Volk addressed faculty and staff about the College’s transition to the next president. Volk had announced his retirement to the College community at a similar forum in 2017.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees John Wiercinski announced the Board’s appointment of Dr. Jill A. Murray as the ninth president of Lackawanna College. She will be the first woman to serve in that role.
“This appointment allows for a continuity of leadership and governance and a smooth transition as the College continues its path of innovation,” said Wiercinski. “Dr. Murray has been an architect of change and a key contributing factor to the design of innovative and cutting-edge academic college programs. We feel she is well-poised and prepared to continue the College’s current upward trajectory.”
Dr. Murray currently serves as the College’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer and brings a breadth of experience to the presidency. From 2008-2012, she operated as the College’s vice president of academic affairs, where she was responsible for developing and overseeing all of Lackawanna College’s curricula. She developed academic programming and support services, which helped drive student enrollment and retention.
Dr. Murray’s goals have been to identify new sources of revenue and to promote a culture of innovation while providing pathways for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to achieve an education. In 2009, Dr. Murray implemented a strategic planning process, which led to, among other things, the expansion of online learning options including degrees, the introduction of bachelor’s degrees, a streamlined budgeting process, and the creation of the Football Academic Learning Community (FALC) program. The FALC program established rigorous academic standards, mandatory study halls, a student support system and cohort scheduling for the College’s student-athletes in the football program.
“The mission of Lackawanna College is focused on our students and how we can guide them to drive success within our communities,” Dr. Murray stated. “It is truly an honor to be appointed to lead Lackawanna College at such a pivotal point in our history. I look forward to working with President Volk throughout the year to fulfill the College’s mission of providing a quality education to all students who want to improve their lives.”
During her time at Lackawanna, Dr. Murray has also been the catalyst behind the College’s esports program and assisted with the formation of the Level Up program, which allows high school students to earn college credits with the potential to receive an associate degree by the time they graduate.
Dr. Murray holds a B.A. in philosophy (University of Scranton, 1989), M.A. in philosophy (SUNY at Albany, 1991) and a Ph.D. in Human Development (Marywood University, 2006).
Volk, a retired U.S. Army colonel, served as the College’s executive vice president from 2006 to 2012 and vice president for operations and plans from 2005 to 2006. During his tenure at the College, Volk expanded the campus footprint, opened new centers, improved facilities, added academic programs including the College’s first bachelor’s degrees and led the College through record enrollment periods.
About Lackawanna College:
Founded in 1894, Lackawanna College is a private, accredited college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, Sunbury and Towanda. Learn more at www.lackawanna.edu.