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The College & University Presidents

 

Dr. Francis B. Haas, 1927-1939

 

Dr. Haas at his desk in March, 1939

 

Francis Buchman Haas was born June 6, 1884 and raised in Philadelphia, graduating from Central High School in 1904. He received a bachelor of Science degree from Temple University, master's from the University of Pennsylvania in 1922 and Doctor of Pedagogy from Temple in 1925. He taught in the Philadelphia public school system for 15 years until being appointed the assistant director of the Teachers Bureau of the Department of Public Instruction in Harrisburg in 1920. After several advancements he was appointed to the position of Pennsylvania State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1926.

On April 11, 1927 Dr. Haas was elected principal of the Bloomsburg State Teachers College. In the first few years of his term he oversaw the naming of Carver, Waller, and Noetling Halls; the first official Homecoming Day at Bloomsburg on November 17, 1928; and the completion of the Ben Franklin Training School and college laundry in 1930.

In the spring of 1929 Dr. Haas became BSTC's first president when the title of principal was changed to that of president.  In 1930 the Department of Commerce was started under Harvey Andruss with a four-year course in commercial teaching. The spring of 1935 saw the first class to have every graduate receive a degree, and that summer Dr. Haas succeeded in having the State Council of Education grant BSTC the right to establish special education courses.

The physical nature of the campus changed dramatically for the first time in forty years during the 1930s. The new athletic field was built above North Hall, and renovations made to the gym and other existing buildings. Numerous construction projects began in 1938, including Navy HallCentennial Gymnasium, the storage building, and an enlargement of the heating plant.

The last great achievement of Dr. Haas' tenure was the Centennial celebration in May 1939 that marked the 100th anniversary of the institution that had become the Bloomsburg State Teachers College. He layed the groundwork for the celebration and helped to make it a very memorable event. Three months later in August 1939 he was reappointed State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and his time at Bloomsburg came to an end.

Dr. Haas remained superintendant until his retirement in 1954, ending nearly 50 years of educational service to the state. He lived in Harrisburg until his death at the age of 81 on February 28, 1966. 

 

Dr. Harvey A. Andruss, 1939-1969

 

Dr. Andruss in 1969

 

Harvey A. Andruss was born February 19, 1902 in Fort Worth, TX, and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1924 and an MBA from Northwestern University in 1926. In 1930 he was hired as the first director of the Department of Business Education and then Dean of Instruction at Bloomsburg State Teachers College (BSTC).  He remained in that position for two years before becoming acting President in 1939 following the resignation of Francis B. Haas. On January 15, 1941 Andruss was formally named President of the College. When enrollment dropped sharply during World War II he had Bloomsburg designated as a Civilian Pilot Training Center, which led to hundreds of naval recruits being trained here and kept the school open. In 1945 Andruss was sent to Shrivenham, England to help organize universities for GIs during the war.

After his return in 1946 he began planning for the programs and facilities that the college needed in order to grow in the post-war years. Because of the large numbers of veterans returning to school at this time an agreement was made for liberal arts students at Penn State to study at BSTC. Dr. Andruss had his own association with Penn State, which resulted in his being awarded a PhD in Education from there in 1949.

The physical size of the campus began to grow once again by the mid-1950s, beginning with the opening on April 23, 1957 of the College Commons and two years later by a new men's dormitory. In 1960 the first new classroom building in over 20 years, Sutliff Hall, was dedicated in honor of Dean Emeritus William Boyd Sutliff.  Also in 1960 "Teachers" was removed from the school's title making it Bloomsburg State College, and the same year it was given approval to offer graduate studies and grant master degrees. By 1962 the college had been given permission from the State Council of Education to offer Bachelor's Degrees in humanities, natural science, and social sciences. The following year Dr. Andruss was granted a semester leave and upon his return more changes at BSC began to occur. In 1967 the new library was dedicated to him because of his years of work in championing its importance as the heart of the college. During his last two years more expansion was accomplished as Haas Auditorium and Hartline Science Center were dedicated and the Elwell Hall dormitory completed.

On January 22, 1969, after thirty years, Dr. Andruss announced his retirement and was designated President Emeritus. It was the end of an era for a College that would continue to grow and prosper even after his tenure as president was over. In 1974 he was named Honorary Chairman of Alumni Funds Campaign, and continued to live in Bloomsburg until his death on February 9, 1984.  His memory at Bloomsburg University continues to live on in the new Harvey A. Andruss Library, which was dedicated in September, 1998. 

 

Dr. Robert J. Nossen, 1969-1972

 

Dr. Nossen & his wife in the Alumni room in Waller Hall, September 1969

 

Robert Joseph Nossen was appointed Bloomsburg's president on August 7, 1969. This gave him the unenviable task of following Harvey Andruss, although he was well prepared for the job. Nossen was born in San Francisco on September 4, 1920, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He earned an MA and PhD in English from Northwestern University, and began his teaching career at Creighton University from 1950 to 1954. From there he went to Lamar State College in Texas as Head of the English Department, and in 1960 to the State University of New York College at Fredonia. His first two years there Nossen was head of the Department of English & Speech, and in 1962 his administrative career began when he became Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences. This was followed in 1966 by his promotion to Vice-President for Academic Affairs, the postion he left to come to Bloomsburg State College (BSC).

Dr. Nossen was the top choice among 47 applicants for President of BSC, and he officially took over on September 5, 1969. He immediately had to face many of the problems confronting college campuses during the 1960s. The addressing of these issues had been postponed to some extent while Dr. Andruss was still in charge, but now they came to the forefront. One of the first of these was the adoption of the "BSC Joint Statement on Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities of Students." This was particulary important because it formally set as part of the campus governance the students' freedom to learn, their rights as members of the college community, and also set standards of evaluation. Another change involved restructuring the general education program to give students more responsibility and say in their choice of courses.

The physical campus continued to expand rapidly during this time. In 1970 Columbia Hall, the William W. Scranton Commons, and the Bakeless Center for the Humanities were all completed. This was followed in 1972 by the tri-level parking garage, Nelson Field House, and Waller Administration Building. Dr. Nossen was interested in a more responsive administration as well, so in 1970 the separate positions of vice-president for academic affairs, administration, and students were created.

In May of 1971 the real controversy began. A chain of events started that led to the resignation of Robert Nossen less than a year later. After the resignation of four head coaches the affairs of the college were made public and by September students began to circulate petitions, showing their dissatisfaction with the administration. In January of 1972 a decision was made by the board of trustees to investigate all charges relative to the operation of the college. In March a committee found that the trustees had gone too far when they asked Nossen to step down as president, but the committee recommended that it would probably be better if he did find a job elsewhere. After Nossen's resignation on April 28, 1972 the headlines read, "NCAA places BSC on probation."  The college's athletic teams were placed on probation in August following accusations that rules concerning financial aid to athletes had been broken, the grades of certain students had been changed, athletes were paid for work they did not do, and high school transcripts were altered to assure admission and eligibility. The latter two counts were eventually proven false, and the ban was lifted except for the wrestling team, which still had a one-year probation.

A final irony of Dr. Nossen's stormy tenure at Bloomsburg was the appearance of Hurricane Agnes at the end of June, 1972. Although the campus was minimally affected, flooding in the town forced people from their homes, and temporary trailers that were placed on the upper campus remained for over two years.

After his presidency at BSC Nossen became the associate provost and professor of higher education at the University of Pittsburgh. He later became the editor of the Journal and Newsletter of Pennsylvania Association for Adults and Continuing Education.  Robert J. Nossen died at his home near Pittsburgh on July 29, 1997, at the age of 76. 

 

Dr. Charles H. Carlson, 1972-1973

 

Dr. Carlson in 1986 while serving as Asst. Vice President for Academic Affairs

Charles H. Carlson is a native of Kingsburg, CA, and received a BA in music from San Jose State College, as well as serving two years in Japan and Korea with the U.S. Army. He earned an MA and PhD in Education from Columbia University, teaching there two years before coming to Bloomsburg as an Associate Professor of Music in 1959. During his seven years in the department he became a full professor, Chairman, and director of the Maroon & Gold and Studio bands. In 1966 he began his career in administration as assistant director of Graduate Studies, and by 1970 had became Dean and Director of Research Activities.

When Robert Nossen resigned as President of Bloomsburg State College Dr. Carlson was named acting president by then Governor Milton J. Shapp. He was sworn in at a ceremony in Carver Hall by Dr. John Pittenger, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, on August 31, 1972. Although no great changes occurred during his one year as president, this time did see the completion of several building projects on campus, when the Waller Administration Building, Kehr Union, and Nelson Field House were all dedicated on May 5, 1973.

Following the appointment of James McCormick as president, Dr. Carlson took a year sabbatical and then returned as Dean of the Graduate School. He became Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1983, remained in that position until his retirement on December 27, 1991 after 32 years of service, and still lives in Bloomsburg in sight of Carver Hall.

 

Dr. James H. McCormick, 1973-1983

 

Dr. McCormick in 1976

 

The long and arduous search process to find a permanent replacement for Robert Nossen as president of Bloomsburg State College (BSC) was completed on July 30, 1973 when Governor Milton Shapp announced that Dr. James H. McCormick, the Vice President for Administration at Shippensburg State College, had been appointed to the position. Although only 34 years of age at the time of his appointment he brought to Bloomsburg years of experience in organization and administration. He received his bachelor's degree from Indiana University (PA), and a master's degree in curriculum and administration and doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. McCormick joined the faculty at Shippensburg in 1965 as an associate professor in the Department of Education and Psychology, and during his time there served as assistant dean of academic affairs, acting dean of Teacher Education, assistant to the President, and Vice President for Administration. He was involved with the Shippensburg State College faculty senate and was one of the two vice-presidents on the Commonwealth team that negotiated the first faculty contract in 1971-72.

When Dr. McCormick came to Bloomsburg he quickly decided that more planning was needed in order to help the college accomplish its academic mission and to diversify its curriculum away from being predominately teacher education. During his ten-year tenure a number of new majors were added which helped to increase enrollment and ensured the future of the college. These included nursing and the master's in business administration. The growth in the school was also shown by the fact that its budget more than doubled from 1973 to 1983, going from just under $14 million to $32 million.

Although the campus did not grow as rapidly as it had the previous decade, there was evident growth in its physical layout. The new football field was dedicated as Robert B. Redman stadium in September, 1974; the last dormitory on on the lower campus, Lycoming Hall, was dedicated in 1976; and in March, 1983, Dr. McCormick participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new student services center that bears his name. Other new areas on campus included a child center for faculty, staff, and students that was established in 1981 and a rock garden placed on the west side of Kehr Union.

The biggest change that happened to Bloomsburg State College occurred near the end of his tenure as president in 1982 when the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education was created and the college was to become a university. Dr. McCormick was named to serve as interim chancellor of the new state system beginning July 1, 1983 and granted a one-year leave of absence from Bloomsburg.  But in 1984 it was decided he would become the permanent chancellor, and he remained in that position for 18 years until leaving in 2001 to become chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

 

Dr. Larry W. Jones, 1983-1985

Dr. Jones in 1982 while serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

Larry W. Jones arrived in Bloomsburg in 1981 as its new Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs. Before coming to Bloomsburg he had been at Eastern Montana College where he was the academic vice-president and dean of the faculty. His education included a bachelor's degree in mathematics and statistics from North Dakota State University in 1962, a master's degree in management from the same school in 1964, and his PhD in curriculum development from the University of Oregon in 1971. From 1971 to 1976 he taught at Morehead State University in Kentucky.

Dr. Jones served well as Provost, and when Dr. McCormick was named the first chancellor of the State System of Higher Education in 1983 he was the logical choice as interim president. When Dr. McCormick was named the permanent chancellor, Jones continued serving for another year until Harry Ausprich became president. During his two years in office Dr. Jones proved to be an efficient and committed administrator who gave stability to the University during its transitional phase from a college.

After serving as president he returned to his job as Provost in 1985, and then left the following year to return to Morehead State as the Dean of its College of Professional Studies. He remained in that position until his death in March of 1990 at the age of 49.

 

Dr. Harry Ausprich, 1985-1993

 

Dr. Ausprich at the Parent's Day football game. October 10, 1987

 

On March 19, 1985 Dr. Harry Ausprich was named as the first permanent peresident of Bloomsburg University, replacing Dr. Larry Jones who had served for two years in an interim capacity. Dr. Ausprich earned a bachelor's degree in communications and education from New York State University College at Buffalo and a Masters degree in theatre and broadcasting from the University of Wisconsin. His doctorate was in communications and theatre and came from Michigan State University. He began his administrative career as Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Northern Iowa in 1970, and then went back to SUNY Buffalo for five years before becoming Dean of the College of Fine and Professional Arts at Kent State University in Ohio in 1978. He interviewed at Bloomsburg in February 1985 before being offered the position.

Dr. Ausprich began his tenure at Bloomsburg on July 15, 1985 and was formally inaugurated on April 5th of the following year. In keeping with his educational background and interests he encouraged the growth of arts and humanities at Bloomsburg and supported expanded offerings of artistic performances. His personal involvement in fundraising and development of other sources of income led to millions of dollars being raised during his eight years. This went primarily into scholarships, but also to the enhancement and remodeling of the University's performing arts facilities: Mitrani Hall in the Haas Center and Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall; and financial support for athletic programs and the Celebrity Artist Series.

The expansion and development of the Celebrity Artist Series was Dr. Ausprich's most satisfying personal memory as president of Bloomsburg. He felt it gave students the exposure they needed to superior quality in the arts and was often the first time they had been to an event such as an opera or ballet. In the summer of 1992 he decided not to seek an extension of his contract when it was due to expire two years later in June 1994. But he could not pass up the opportuntity to become executive director of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council when the position became available, and so left Bloomsburg in 1993 after eight years of service as its President.  At the present time Dr. Ausprich is living in retirement in Philadelphia, but has continued his involvement in education by teaching classes at Rowan College in New Jersey. 

 

 

 

Dr. Curtis R. English, 1993-1994

 

Dr. English in 1978 while a captain in the United States Navy

Curtis R. English was born on August 9, 1934 in Montoursville, PA, and had a longtime connection to Bloomsburg, beginning with his graduation in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in business education from Bloomsburg State Teachers College. While in school he was active in a number of clubs and organizations, including the Business Education Club which he served as its president. After graduation he had a distinguished 30-year career as an officer, aviator, and educator in the United States Navy, rising to the rank of captain in 1978. During this time English graduated from the Naval School of Aviation and the Naval Intelligence School. He also served in a number of positions, including executive assistant to the chief of Naval Education and Training in Pensacola, FL, 1972-74; commanding officer of the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Washington, D.C., 1980-82; and and commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Personnel Center, New Orleans, LA, 1983-85. He was awarded the Legion of Merit and the United States of America Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service to the nation on three occasions. English became an expert on the requirements and sources of strategic and critical materials and the ability of the United States to transport these materials by sea.

While still serving in the navy he earned an MA in public administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1971 and in 1985 a EdD in educational administration from Vanderbilt University. Upon leaving the service in 1986 Dr. English worked for a year as manager of corporate planning for the VSE Corporation of Alexandria, VA, and then went to East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania where he became vice president for finance and administration. In June of 1993 Bloomsburg University's Council of Trustees unanimously endorsed him him to be the interim president following the resignation ofHarry Ausprich. The State System Board of Governors approved his appointment in July, 1993, and he sered as president until Jessica Kozloff took over on July 1, 1994.

Dr. English made an impact at Bloomsburg during his short time here, beginning with his first day on August 19, 1993 when he was introduced to the University community. In October construction began on the Student Recreation Center, and his accomplishments also included the reinstitution of the town-gown committee as a means of dealing with areas of concern, and his insistence that more money be raised in order to ensure the completion of all four floors of the new library building that was then being planned. In May 14, 1994 Dr. English presided over the University's 125th annual spring commencement, gave the commencement address, and received an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy degree. It was fitting tribute to his service to Bloomsburg

Upon completing his term as interim president on June 30 he returned to East Stroudsburg from which he had been granted a leave of absence to resume his duties as vice president. Two years later in 1996 he became president of Hiwassee College in Madisonville, TN, which he served until his death on November 13, 1999 at the age of 65.

Dr. English was an active member of the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association, serving on its board of directors and as president of the Washington, D.C., alumni chapter. In 1974 he was honored by the association with its Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding naval career. In further recognition of his contributions in December, 1999 the Council of Trustees passed a resolution to name the large meeting room in the new addition to the Fenstemaker Alumni Center "The Curtis R. English Great Room."

 

Dr. Jessica S. Kozloff, 1994-2007

 

 

On July 1, 1994 Dr. Jessica Sledge Kozloff became the 17th person to head Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Bloomsburg, Dr. Kozloff served as vice president for academic and student affairs for the State Colleges of Colorado, a system of four regional campuses serving 26,000 students. She earned a bachelor's degree in education at the University of Nevada-Reno, where she also completed her master's degree in political science. Dr. Kozloff earned her PhD in political science from Colorado State University.

Before working for the State Colleges of Colorado Dr. Kozloff held several administrative positions at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. She has taught undergraduate courses in political science at the University of Nevada-Reno, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the University of Northern Colorado, and Metropolitan State College in Denver, and was a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Northern Colorado.

Dr. Kozloff's focus when coming to Bloomsburg in 1994 was to help the University further grow, expand, and meet the educational needs of its students.  The improvement of campus facilities was one of her priorities, and near the end of her first year in March 1995 the Campus Recreation Center was dedicated and available for student use.  But the most important achievement in this area was the completion and dedication in 1998 of the new University library, a facility that was badly needed and enhanced Bloomsburg's standing in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.  Among the many other projects during her tenure were additions onto Centennial Gym (now Centennial Hall), the Hartline Science Center, and the McCormick Student Services Center; remodeling of the Scranton Commons, Navy Hall, and Ben Franklin; converting the former library building into a student services center; construction of the Mt. Olympus Apartments and parking lots, athletic fields, and tennis courts on the upper campus; and finally in the fall of 2007 renewed campus green space was added with the new Academic Quad between Andruss Library and the Warren Student Services Center.  Helping these ambitious projects were fundraising efforts that resulted in many millions of dollars being donated to the University.

Students benefited not only from new and improved facilities but also from an expanded and increasingly accredited curriculum, including a new program in electrical engineering and especially the accreditation of the College of Business in 2004 by the AACSB.  Student safety was a major priority, which involved both alcohol prevention and awareness as well as fire safety.  Twice during her time at Bloomsburg, in October of 1994 and again in March of 2000, student lives were lost to off-campus fires.  No effort was spared on educating students on protecting themselves from fires, and every dorm room was equipped with sprinklers to prevent a similar tragedy on campus.  Dr. Kozloff and her husband further contributed to student opportunities by creating an endowed scholarship to facilitate undergraduate research.

The University enjoyed one of its longest sustained periods of success in terms of athletics during Dr. Kozloff's term. The women's field hockey team won a total of nine NCAA Division II championships under Jan Hutchinson, and highly competitive teams with numerous trips to the post-season were fielded in softball, football, men's and women's basketball, wrestling and virtually every other sport Bloomsburg sponsors. The University did not limit itself to only academic excellence, which was demonstrated in all areas of student endeavor.

Enrollment also increased, from 7277 total students in the fall of 1994 to 8745 in 2007, and the growth in business, instructional and interactive technologies and other in-demand fields helped to further this expansion. Before her arrival Bloomsburg University had come a long way since moving to its current location in 1867, and Dr. Kozloff helped to continue this growth and position the University to continue its success and accomplishments long into the current century.  At the end of 2007 she became only the third Bloomsburg president to retire from office, and she and her husband Dr. Steven Kozloff moved to Arizona to be near their children and grandchildren.

Dr. David L. Soltz, 2008-2017

On January 7, 2008, Dr. David L. Soltz began his term as the 18th president of Bloomsburg University.  He came to Bloomsburg from Central Washington University, having served as provost since 2001.  Dr. Soltz began his academic career at the University of California-Berkeley where he earned a BA in zoology in 1968, and later attended the University of California-Los Angeles.  He received his Ph.D. in biology there in 1974, with a research focus on ecology and environmental biology involving fish populations in stressful environments.

Dr. Soltz's teaching career began in the fall of 1974 at California State University-Los Angeles as a faculty member in the Department of Biology.  His success in teaching, curriculum development and research led to his promotion to full professor in 1982, and the following year he became chair of the department.  In 1988 his career took him to the California State University-Long Beach campus, where he served first as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and in 1995-96 as the acting dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In 1996, Dr. Stoltz returned to California State University-Los Angeles as the Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences. During his five years there, he was responsible for 15 departments, over 200 faculty members and managed an operating budget of more than $20 million before moving to Ellensburg, Washington and Central Washington University as their Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. At Central Washington, he oversaw more than 90 academic programs, a budge of almost $92 million, and a faculty of over 450.

Dr. Soltz came to campus to interview for the position of presiden on September 11 & 12, 2007. He stated his interest in the job was due in no small part to Bloomsburg being recognized as one of the top schools in the Pennsylvannia State System of Higher Education. He also felt the beautiful campus was an asset in attracting students and said as president, he would like to see more outreach with the community and would encourage programs to allow young students in the geographic area to become more familiar with what Bloomsburg had to offer them. On November 13, Dr. Soltz was named the next President of Bloomsburg University and he looked forward to his new role. 

"I'm excited and honored to be named the next president of Bloomsburg University. I'm impressed with the outstanding faculty and students at the university as well as its beautiful campus. I look forward to leading this fine institution to a higher level of excellence and my wife and I are looking forward to joining the Bloomsburg community"

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