New Penn State York chancellor brings strategy, focus on affordability

Penn State York has chosen a successor to former Chancellor David Chown, who stepped down this year after serving the university's local campus for more than five years,

The new chancellor — announced in a university news release Thursday, May 24 — brings a background in university planning, development and strategy, as well as a focus on affordability for students.

David Christiansen, associate vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and senior associate dean for academic programs, will take on the role beginning Aug. 1, according to the release.

Christiansen was named the new chancellor of Penn State York, effective August 1, 2018.

In his current position, he sits on multiple universitywide planning and advisory committees, the release states.

Christiansen helped develop academic programs at Penn State campuses, working with campus chancellors and academic officers to implement the strategic direction for the university's academic portfolio across the state.

He "has overseen the addition of more than 85 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to meet emerging student interests and respond to regional employment needs," according to the release.

Christiansen is excited for the opportunity, he stated.

“The campus’ students, faculty and staff are exceptional, and its robust academic programs provide a high-quality education, promote economic growth and address social challenges," he added.

More:Penn State York chancellor retires, sends students off with graduation speech

More:Penn State's recruiting surge continues with addition of four-star athlete Marquis Wilson

As co-chair of the Enhanced Education Pathway committee, Christiansen also supports access and affordability for students through strategic opportunities and programs aimed at increasing student retention, reducing the time to graduation and making school more affordable for students across the state, the release states.

Through his work, Christiansen developed the Pathway to Success: Summer Start program, which he currently oversees.

The initiative offers scholarships, mentoring and on-campus jobs at 15 campuses to support low-income and first-generation students in their transition to college.

History: Christiansen also has a history with the university dating back to 2004, according to the news release.

He started as a professor of classics and senior associate dean for academic affairs for Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. 

Christiansen moved into his current position in 2013, where he was involved in academic program planning and initiatives focused on student success, teaching, digital innovation and affordability.

Madlyn Hanes, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor at Penn State, praised him for his 14 years of dedicated service to the university.

“Throughout his career in higher education, David has been a forward thinker and an advocate for students, faculty and staff," she stated. "He will successfully build upon the progress David Chown has stewarded over the past five years to elevate Penn State York.”