Dear Faculty,

One of the things I’m most proud of is that we have created a unique culture on this campus. I am particularly proud that the faculty and staff of Philadelphia University are focused on providing our students with the highest quality professional education in a collegial and supportive environment. It is why so many of our students are satisfied with their academic experience and go on to be successful in their professional lives. Preserving that collegial and supportive environment is paramount to the long-term vitality and viability of Philadelphia University for our faculty, staff and students.

It is hardly a secret that a union has been trying to organize our adjunct faculty, in particular. While we recognize that the faculty have the right to join a union, if they wish, we strongly believe that doing so is not in your best interest. In the days ahead, you may be approached by a union organizer and asked to sign an authorization card, which is the first step in the process to try and organize you. It is your choice as to whether to sign a union card or not. What we do ask is that you make an informed decision.

When problems arise, we believe the best way to deal with them is to work together, directly, rather than through a third party who doesn’t understand PhilaU and might have different priorities and agendas. Further, we do not believe that a union will advance our position as a model for professional university education.

It is a testament to all members of this community that faculty and staff have not felt a need to organize and seek union representation in recent times. In any organization, there are issues that arise that need to be addressed. We value all of our faculty and staff, and continually encourage you to speak up. We listen. We also take great pride in our ability to work together to address matters of concern. In the last few years alone, during a time of global economic turmoil and rapidly growing competition among higher education institutions for students, we have:

  • grown graduate and CPS enrollment,
  • enhanced benefits for our adjunct faculty,
  • added full-time faculty positions (many of which were filled by adjunct faculty), and
  • enhanced teaching and learning spaces, to name a few.

In the end, we hope that if you are asked, you will choose not to sign an authorization card. We have always had an open-door policy at Philadelphia University from the President’s Office and Academic Affairs to Human Resources and the Deans and other academic leaders. With the changes in academic and human resources leadership in 2015, we have placed increasing emphasis on facilitating an open and constructive dialogue, and are beginning to see the results of those efforts.

It is our goal to identify the issues most prominent in your minds and to forge a path forward that will ensure Philadelphia University is a unique and rewarding place to work. Please do not hesitate to take advantage of our open-door policy and share your perspectives with us. If you feel that your concerns are not being addressed or if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly or to speak with Director of Human Resources Michele Gilbert, who rejoined our administrative team at the beginning of this semester. Because of our strong desire and ability to work collaboratively to address issues, we have not needed a union in the past, and I believe we still do not.

Let’s continue to work together.

Matt Dane Baker

Please see archived Provost emails below

November 12, 2015

I want to take a moment to describe some important news, interesting topics and upcoming events.

  • Save the Date!

Save the Date!

The University will celebrate International Education Week from November 16 to November 20 with a number of campus events.   Kick-off your week by celebrating with your colleagues at the Faculty Social on Monday, November 16 at 9 a.m. in Gutman Library.  (Breakfast will be served.)

The November Faculty Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the Kanbar Performance Space.  All faculty are invited.  For those who will be off campus at the meeting time, you are invited to attend remotely using Adobe Connect.    Look for the Outlook invitation in your email inbox.

Employee Appreciation Night at the Campus Bookstore is Thursday, November 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.     Faculty and staff enjoy one-night-only special discounts and promotions.

The University’s Annual Holiday Party is scheduled for Thursday, December 17 at 3:30 p.m.  More information to follow.

The Middle States Accreditation site visit is February 7-10, 2016.  More information to follow.


Be sure to check the University’s employment opportunities page for open positions by clicking here.

Full-time faculty and staff and part-time faculty and staff may register for spring courses, per the University’s Tuition Remission Policy described in the Employee Handbook.   

  • Tuition Remission Forms are available on the E-Forms page of Human Resources’ Employee Resources menu. 
  • If you have questions about Tuition Remission for full-time and adjunct faculty, please contact Patrice Tavares, human resources associate at or ext. 0259.

The Gallagher Fitness Center and the Group Exercise Program are available to full-time and part-time faculty and staff.   To see the Group Exercise schedule, click here.    To review the Group Exercise Class Guidelines, click here.

Full and part-time employees regularly enjoy a 10% discount on items purchased in the Bookstore with a valid University ID card at the time of purchase.


The University adjusted its compensation range for Independent Studies.   Effective in Spring 2016, the new range is $300 to $500 per course.  The rate will be based on the student contact hours associated with the course.

Course schedules are being finalizing for the Spring terms. By Friday, WebAdvisor will reflect winter and spring contracts.  Don’t forget that you may download your class schedule by clicking the course names in the My Class Roster and Schedule in WebAdvisor.  These clickable links, will enable you to download an iCal file to update the calendar of your choice.

Faculty/Staff Payroll Schedules may be found in WebAdvisor under the Time Entry and Approval section.


Faculty teaching evaluation and feedback

The Provost’s Office has been actively engaged in initiatives that will improve our faculty teaching evaluation and feedback systems.  These initiatives are in response to both faculty/staff input and our Middle States self-study assessment activities.   Input has directed the Office to look at ways to improve consistency across the University; and to provide more timely, useful, formative feedback to faculty in the interest of faculty development.  With these principles in mind, the Provost’s Office has been working with faculty, program directors, and deans to revise and improve the Student Evaluations of Teaching and Teaching Observation form used for both full-time and part-time faculty.   

 The Provost’s Office has been designing the following for full-time and part-time faculty:

  • Enhancements to the Student Evaluations of Teaching form; the Teaching Observation form per the Classroom Visit Policy in the Manual; the annual Faculty Activity Report; and the Annual Dean’s Evaluation form for full-time faculty.  
  • Enhancements to Student Evaluations of Teaching form; and a system of regular teaching observations in the 1st year then every 4 years after using the Teaching Observation form; and a standard Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness form for part-time faculty.

In closing, we welcome and encourage your feedback.  If you would like to see the drafts of these forms and procedures or to get involved, please contact Susan Frosten at

2015-16 Grant Opportunities

The Provost’s Office recently announced the 2015-16 Grant Opportunities:

  • For Nexus Grants, available to full-time and part-time faculty, click here
  • For Nexus Online Grants, available to full-time and part-time faculty, click here
  • For the Research, Scholarship and Practice-based Grants, available to full-time faculty, click here.

The Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning (CTiNL) will fund the conference registration for full-time and part-time faculty who submit an abstract to Temple University’s 14th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence. The deadline for submittal is November 13, 2015.   Even if your abstract is not accepted, the University will fund your registration fees.  For information about the conference, click here.

Events sponsored by the CTiNL are open to all faculty and staff, including the weekly Talking Teaching on Fridays from 12:00-1:00 in the Common Thread Fishbowl.  In addition, Jeff Ashley and Nexus advocates are available for individual consultations on pedagogy and course teaching and learning strategies.  For more information and an appointment, contact CTiNL Director, Jeff Ashley at


To read about some of the most recent awards and accolades for our faculty and staff, please visit PhilaU Today’s Awards and Accolades section.

To submit information about your award or opportunity, email

August 12, 2015

Message from the Provost

I hope you are having a fulfilling and productive summer. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the start of the fall 2015 semester next week. When you return to campus, you will meet some new people and see the exciting, new initiatives that we have been working on throughout the summer. These include hiring new faculty members; creating new facilities such as two additional Nexus Learning Hubs and a private lactation room; the launch of new academic programs; and the approval of some new employee benefits that we will be implementing this year.

To enhance communications and keep our faculty informed on these and other items of interest, the Office of the Provost/Academic Affairs is initiating several new communications vehicles, including town hall-style meetings, breakfast chats, regular messages from my office such as this one, as well as periodic visits to college, school and program faculty meetings. We hope to maintain an ongoing dialogue with all faculty members, as well as staff and students, on important issues that impact our campus community. My goal is to use these engagements to guide our office as we set strategic priorities for the next five years. I will share more of that process in future messages.

For now, I want to thank you for your service to the University and dedication to our students as we embark on what promises to be another stimulating academic year. Here are the topics covered in this email:



  • Academic Success Center – As you may know, the Learning & Advising Center has been renamed the Academic Success Center. This new name reflects the many functions that the Center provides to students at all levels. The Center has become a multifaceted resource for academic support, including assistance for writing, time management and study strategies, peer and professional content tutoring, and first-year advising and retention services.  The Center also provides student-centric support to upper level advisors and faculty. 
  • Active Learning Spaces – Two new Nexus Learning Hubs have been added– one hub in Downs Hall Room 2 and The Douglas Schwab ’76 Nexus Learning Hub in Tuttleman 209.  This Active Learning Space Initiative is our institution's commitment to providing learning environments that enhance Nexus Learning teaching approaches.  Last academic year, through surveying more than 500 students using the two inaugural Nexus Learning Hubs (Hayward 111 and 211), our students self-reported significant gains in class participation, ability to focus, instructor feedback opportunities, learning through multiple means, physical movement, stimulation, and comfort level (in addition to other gains) in classes taught in Nexus Learning Hubs compared to traditional classrooms. Using other assessment tools such as class observations and faculty surveys and discussions, we concluded that these learning spaces are highly valued as environments where space and technology optimize the teaching experience for our faculty and learning experience for our students.

Bringing various University stakeholders together this past spring, the Active Learning Space Initiative guided the scale up/scale out of the Nexus Learning Hubs, which are providing additional innovative, flexible and stimulating learning environments to our campus. This fall, Downs 2 and Tuttleman 209 will increase our unique teaching and learning pedagogies with physical and technology-equipped spaces to enhance our students' transformative learning experiences. 

  • The Grundy Lab in the Philadelphia University Research Center (PURC) has been moved from Manayunk to Hayward Hall.
  • Adjunct Faculty Office Suites have been renovated and expanded in the Ravenhill Mansion.
  • A new Surface Imaging Lab has been added in Hayward Hall.
  • Significant renovations have been made to the Architecture and Design Center this summer.
  • Lactation Rooms – New lactation rooms are located in Hayward Hall, Room 114, just beyond the ladies room on the first floor, and on the third floor of Ravenhill Mansion, Room 304. Both rooms have signs displaying the international lactation symbol, as well as a Vacant/Occupied slide sign on the door.
  • Parking

For the convenience of all of our faculty and staff:

  • 10 two-hour adjunct faculty-only spaces close to Guard Station at Hayward Hall have been added
  • 10 spaces in the Scholler Hall lot available for Faculty/Staff permit holders also have been added
  • Faculty/Staff permit holders will be able to use the Church parking lot next to the Academic Success Center


  • We are extending graduate tuition benefits for dependent children of full-time and part-time faculty and staff, beginning January 2016.  Look for more information about benefit and program eligibility in the 2015-2016 Employee handbook, which will be available early fall.  
  • The University reinstituted multi-reporting term contracts for qualified adjunct faculty teaching upper-class course sections in academic programs with demonstrated curricular needs. Nearly 50 of these contracts were issued for the 2015-16 academic year.  Questions about these types of contracts may be directed to the Managers of Academic Operations in the Colleges. 
  • The University instituted a new affiliation for full-time and part-time faculty and staff members who retire in good standing.  A faculty or staff member, who at the time of separation is 55 years or older with 10 or more years of service and is in good standing, may be considered a “retiree” and may retain an affiliation with the University. This honorific affiliation and associated benefits are conferred by the President of the University. Inquiries from full-time and part-time faculty about the retiree affiliation may be directed to the Office of the Provost (   The list of benefits will be included in the Employee Handbook, which will be updated in early fall.
  • We had a number of faculty openings for which we conducted national searches. Many of our current adjunct and visiting faculty were finalists because of their disciplinary expertise, integration of Nexus Learning into their teaching, and knowledge of and commitment to Philadelphia University. In the past one and a half years, 17 full-time faculty positions and one full-time administrative position have been filled by individuals who had been employed by the University as adjunct or visiting professors.

Important Dates and Policies

  • Please join us for a Faculty Social on August 19, 2015 from 3 to 5 p.m. in RavenHub on the lower level of the Ravenhill Dining Hall.

  • The first faculty meeting of the 2015-2016 academic year will be on Tuesday, September 15 at 12:30 p.m. in  Downs Auditorium. All faculty are invited.  For those who will be off campus at that time, you will be able to join the meeting remotely through Adobe Connect. Instructions to follow.

  • Nexus Maximus 2015, the ultimate Nexus Learning experience, will be held September 11-14. This fast-paced sprint project will focus on “Health for Life – Birth to College.” Sponsored once again by Johnson & Johnson, it will involve students from PhilaU, Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland; KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Paris in Paris, France. Watch PhilaU Today for more information. In the meantime, if you have any questions or want more information, please contact D.R. Widder at  Read about Nexus Maximus 2014.

  • The 2015-16 Adjunct Resource Guide is now available and can be accessed on the Provost Office Resources webpage.

  • The 2015 Faculty Manual is now available on the Provost’s Office Faculty Contract, Tenure, Sabbatical and Promotion Information webpage.


  • Michael Dryer, Dr.PH, joined Philadelphia University as Executive Dean of the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts on July 1, 2015.  Dr. Dryer comes from Arcadia University where he spent 19 years and most recently served as the Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Dryer brings a wealth of experience and is already proving to be an important member of the University leadership team. To read more, please click here.                                       

  • Michele Gilbert, B.S., (née Ricks) will join Philadelphia University as Director of Human Resources on August 17.  Michele worked at PhilaU from 2002 to 2007, when she joined the American Cancer Society to serve as Senior Director of Employee Relations and Development. She then served as Human Resources Manager at Broomall Presbyterian Village.  

  • Melissa Mullin, M.S., joins PhilaU as Assistant Director of Learning Services in the Academic Success Center.

  • Melissa Scheler (PhilaU ’14) joined the University as a Human Resources Associate. Melissa most recently worked as a recruiting coordinator for Publicis Touchpoint Solutions.   

  • Patrice Taveras, M.S., has joined the University as a Human Resources Associate.  Patrice has been HR Associate with YAC — Non-Profit College Bound, where she was involved in every aspect of human resources for more than 10 years.

  • Daniel Verbit, M.S., takes on the role of Systems Librarian for the Paul J. Gutman Library.

  • Madeleine Wilcox, Ph.D., is the new Manager of International and Domestic Study Away programs in the Office of Global Education and Initiatives. Dr. Wilcox has been on our adjunct faculty teaching Area Studies courses.

  • Megan Wood, M.S., joined us this year as the Manager of Faculty Affairs in the Office of the Provost/ Academic Affairs.



  • Astra Czerny, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Community and Trauma Counseling

  • John Grigsby, J.D., LL.M., Associate Professor and Program Director of Taxation

  • Richard Hass, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology

  • Edward Keeter, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Program Director of Construction Management. Dr. Keeter was previously a professor at the University.

  • Pielah Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Fashion Merchandising & Management

  • Gulbin Ozcan-Deniz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Construction Management

  • Marie-Christine Potvin, Ph.D., OTR, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

  • Edward Santilli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics

  • Elizabeth Shirrel, MFA, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Communication

  • Irina Stoyneva, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management

  • Maureen Sullivan, MHS, PA-C, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Mary Ann Wagner-Graham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

  • Kasey Wagoner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics

  • Renee Walker, MFA, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Communication

Congratulations on new FACULTY positions

  • Radika Bhaskar, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor of the DEC Core Curriculum. Dr. Bhaskar was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Dana Cafaro, M.S., PA-C, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies and Associate Program Director for the New Jersey location. Professor Cafaro was a long-time adjunct professor at the University. 

  • Catherine Casano, B.S., Instructor of Fashion Design. Professor Casano was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Stephen Didonato, M.S., Lecturer of Community & Trauma Counseling. Dr. Didonato was a visiting professor at the University.

  • Megan Fuller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Fuller was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Thomas Fung, MS, MBA, Associate Professor and Director of Global Fashion Enterprise. Professor Fung was a long-time adjunct professor at PhilaU.

  • Matthew Gindlesparger, M.Arch, Assistant Professor of Architecture. Professor Gindlesparger was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Neil Harner, MBA, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Interactive Design and Media. Previously, Professor Harner was an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Kath Hubbard, M.A., Teaching Lecturer of Writing. Professor Hubbard was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Jeffrey Klemens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology. Dr. Klemens was previously an adjunct professor and visiting professor at the University.

  • Todd Kramer, M.S., Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. Professor Kramer was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Carly Kusy, B.S., Instructor of Fashion Design. Professor Kusy was previously an adjunct professor and visiting professor at the University.

  • David Loranger, MPS, Lecturer of Fashion Merchandising & Management. Professor Loranger was previously an adjunct professor and visiting professor at the University.

  • Eric Schneider, MFA, Visiting Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. Professor Schneider was previously an adjunct professor and visiting professor at the University.

  • Seth Steinbacher, M.A., Teaching Lecturer of Writing. Professor Steinbacher was previously an adjunct professor at the University.

  • Jack Suss, Ph.D., Teaching Assistant Professor of the DEC Core Curriculum. Dr. Suss was previously an adjunct professor at the University.



  • Barbara Kimmelman, Ph.D., Professor of History, has been appointed Academic Dean for Liberal Arts and Sciences in the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts. Dr. Kimmelman, a master educator and campus leader, has chaired many committees and served as secretary of the faculty. She has played a critical role in many initiatives that have shaped the Philadelphia University.  To read more, please click here.

  • Philip Russel, Ph.D., Professor of Finance, has been appointed Interim Academic Dean for the School of Business Administration in the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. He is a respected leader and is an expert in corporate bankruptcy and mutual funds. Dr. Russel was a major contributor to achieving ACBSP accreditation for the SBA.  To read more about the accreditation, please click here.

  • Jeffrey Ashley, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, has been appointed Director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning. As Interim Director of the Center last year when former Director Dr. Marion Roydhouse was on sabbatical, Dr. Ashley continued to foster the University’s commitment to Nexus Learning and its reputation for academic excellence. This year, he has served as coordinator of Nexus Learning Spaces to help deliver the PhilaU distinctive brand of education through several innovative new Nexus Learning Hub classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology.


New Academic Programs


Kudos and Congratulations

To read about some of the most recent awards and accolades for our faculty and staff, please visit PhilaU Today’s Awards and Accolades section.