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Eberly Campus chancellor leaving

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Those who worked with chancellor Francis K. Achampong on campus and on community endeavors Monday expressed mixed emotions upon learning he will leave Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus.

Effective Aug. 1, he will assume the role of chancellor of Penn State Mont Alto in Franklin County.

In a release, Achampong called his decision to leave a difficult one, but said his new appointment represents a “joyous homecoming.”

From 2002-10, he was director of academic affairs at Mont Alto, where he held the rank of tenured professor of business law.

Achampong was appointed interim chancellor in March 2010, following the unexpected death of then chancellor Emmanuel Osagie. Achampong was named chancellor that November.

He will succeed David Gnage, who announced last fall that he would retire at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

Lori Omatick, director of development at the Fayette campus, said she worked closely with Achampong and his office in her role as chief fundraising officer.

“He was instrumental, I would say, in helping to build our volunteer capital campaign committee,” she said.

That committee more than doubled from four to nine members during his tenure, Omatick said.

Achampong arrived in the middle of the university wide, seven-year campaign to raise $2 billion.

“Donors and constituents need to trust the leadership and feel confident that the campus is in good hands,” Omatick said.

Fayette's goal of the “For the Future” campaign, which ends in June 2014, is $3.5 million.

“We are right about at the $3 million mark in Fayette. Dr. Achampong has been a key force in leading us to and helping us achieve that goal,” she said.

“He leads by example. ... He has a high degree of integrity. I would say he is a team builder, bringing all parts of the campus together,” she said.

Omatick said she learned from Achampong's leadership style and considered him a good personal mentor.

University officials credited Achampong with tackling enrollment challenges by focusing and increasing recruitment efforts, enhancing the school's web presences, strengthening student support services and partnering with database vendors.

“It has been an honor to serve Penn State Fayette,” Achampong said in a release.

“We have accomplished many great things here. But I am excited to return to Penn State Mont Alto, where I spent eight years working with so many others to strengthen the campus' academic profile. Dr. Gnage has set Mont Alto on a great course, and I look forward to leading the campus community through new opportunities and challenges,” he said.

Muriel Nuttall, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce executive director, said she will miss his service on the chamber's board.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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