Kenneth Zirkle, Ph.D., has joined the Mercyhurst community as special assistant to the executive vice president at Mercyhurst North East (MNE).
This year, as MNE approaches its 20th anniversary, the administration will seek new ways to evaluate current academic practices and enhance the college as a whole. In his role as assistant to Dr. Gary Brown, Zirkle will help to identify strengths and challenges at the North East campus, and collaborate with campus administrators to shape a strategic plan leading the college into the future.
Zirkle, who began his new duties Feb. 1, comes to MNE from Post University in Waterbury, Conn., where he served as president before retiring in August.
"I have loved every minute of working in higher education and I'm truly excited to return to the field," said Zirkle. "Mercyhurst North East is already tremendously gifted with excellent programs, faculty and students; I intend to build on these strengths and identify new opportunities for growth."
Brown said Zirkle will be a valuable resource to MNE as it enters this new period in its history.
"We've had 20 wonderful years of educating thousands of students, but to stay competitive we really need to evaluate ourselves and make changes where necessary," Brown said. "Kenneth Zirkle has decades of higher education experience and will be a valuable resource during this process of self-evaluation."
Zirkle said his approach will mirror what he has always practiced, a "student-focused, open-door policy" that will translate into a considerable amount of personal attention and time spent with faculty and students.
Zirkle's North East office is Miller 122 and he can be reached at 725-7080.