Incoming president Michael J. Reed pictured alongside an entry sign to the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus.

Williamsport, Pa. – Following a six month long national search, Pennsylvania College of Technology has chosen Michael J. Reed to lead the institution as its eighth president, effective July 1. 

The Penn College Board of Directors today approved the choice of Reed, the college's former vice president for academic affairs and provost. He will succeed longtime President Davie Jane Gilmour, who will retire effective June 30.

Related reading: Penn College president Davie Jane Gilmour announces retirement

A native of Glenshaw, a Pittsburgh suburb, Reed is one of 10 siblings and a first-generation college student. He was selected from a group of three finalists for the position, all of which met with students, faculty and staff in December.

Reed has extensive experience in higher education and secondary education.

Before being named vice president for academic affairs and provost – the chief academic officer for Penn College, responsible for overseeing the delivery of 100-plus academic programs and leading more than 600 employees in the college’s Academic Affairs Division – he held several other positions with the college:

Vice president for academic operations and associate provost; Dean of the former School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications; Assistant Dean of liberal arts and sciences.

Prior to roles with Penn College, Reed also served as head principal at Williamsport Area High School and as principal at the SciTech Campus of Harrisburg High School, which offers an honors-level college preparatory experience to a select group of highly motivated students. He was also once the principal of the former William Penn Alternative School, which served high-risk students in the Harrisburg area.

Prior to educational administration roles, he served as a school counselor in the Upper Dauphin Area School District and a teacher and counselor for Abraxas Youth & Family Services, Marienville.

Reed holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Drexel University, a Master of Education in Counseling and Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

He also earned a Post-Master Certificate in School Administration from Penn State, and he completed a nine-month Executive Leadership Series training offered by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

State Sen. Gene Yaw, chair of the Penn College Board of Directors and the Presidential Search Committee, said Reed is the ideal candidate to succeed Gilmour, who has been president of Penn College, a special mission affiliate of Penn State, since May 4, 1998.

“Under the bold and steady leadership of President Gilmour, Penn College has established itself as a national leader in applied technology education,” Yaw said. “Her shoes cannot be filled. Instead, we look to President Reed to pilot the next stage of the college’s success, accelerating upon the trajectory she has set.”

Reed said he is honored and humbled to accept the presidential appointment.

“The talent, passion and expertise on this campus is truly inspiring,” Reed said. “Collectively, we will seek untapped opportunities, embrace change and solve complex challenges in order to continually improve.

"Industry is in need of more Penn College graduates, and I look forward to working closely with our board, faculty and staff – as well as our community and industry leaders – to ensure we are maximizing opportunities so that our students are well-prepared to enter and advance within high-demand career fields."

Reed then expressed his admiration of the school's mission and his respect for Gilmour's legacy. “I love our mission, what we represent and the opportunities we create for our next generation of tomorrow makers. I am ‘all in,’ and I will do everything I can to maximize our collective expertise in order to place our students in the most competitive position for long-term success. What President Gilmour has accomplished throughout her tenure is nothing short of extraordinary, and I am grateful for the high expectations and culture of continual improvement keenly established on our campus.”

Reed’s community leadership affiliations include serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, and in a similar capacity for The Salvation Army, Williamsport, where he also serves as that organization’s vice chair.

His community volunteer engagement included coaching roles in the NorCenPenn Youth Soccer League, the American Youth Soccer Organization, and the John Bower Basketball League.

The search for a new president began after Gilmour announced in May 2021 her intention to retire after 24 years at the helm of the institution.

In June, a Presidential Search Committee was appointed. Later that month, Storbeck Search, an executive search firm specializing in leadership hiring for colleges and universities, was tapped to coordinate the process. 

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