President Soltz announces retirement

For Immediate Release:  Sept. 22, 2016

BLOOMSBURG — David L. Soltz will retire as president of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

In his announcement to the campus community, Soltz said, “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve our students with all of you, the outstanding faculty and staff of Bloomsburg University.”

“Together we have come through the most challenging fiscal times of my long career in higher education with our university strong and well positioned to continue providing an affordable, high-quality education that prepares our students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment. The future is bright for BU, and the institution is ready for the renewal that comes with new leadership.”

Soltz became Bloomsburg University’s 18th president in 2008.

‘Solid foundation’

In an email today to Bloomsburg University faculty and staff, Council of Trustees Chair Patrick Wilson noted Soltz’s dedication to the university. “Dr. Soltz has worked tirelessly to lead the efforts to maintain the financial stability of Bloomsburg University in these challenging budgetary times. We have a solid foundation to continue our forward momentum.”

Wilson will work with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor Frank Brogan to identify Soltz’s successor as outlined by the State System Board of Governor’s Policy 1983-13-A. It is expected that a presidential search committee will be formed within the next several months.  

Programs, initiatives, improvements

During his nine-year tenure, Soltz led Bloomsburg through the successful development and implementation of a strategic plan, Impact 2017. As a result, numerous academic programs and initiatives were established, including the creation of MyCore, BU’s general education program; Nicholas J. Giuffre Center for Supply Chain Management; Institute for Concussion Research and Services; Professional U initiative; Zeigler Institute of Professional Development; and McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support. Also established under his leadership were centers devoted to: Visual and Performing Arts, Leadership and Engagement, Healthy Aging, and Earth and Environmental Studies.

In addition, the university’s second doctoral program, the doctor of nursing practice, was launched; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives were expanded; and the number of educational partnerships with Geisinger Health System were increased. Soltz established the university’s first official presence in downtown Bloomsburg with the creation of the Greenly Center and encouraged partnerships with community groups, businesses and community colleges across the region and state.

To support student success, Soltz created the division of strategic enrollment management. Through this division, Bloomsburg is making significant progress toward the development of an intentional, data-informed enrollment plan that meets the university’s enrollment goals. 

Financially, Soltz’s leadership has resulted in record philanthropic support. He is presiding over the $50 million It’s Personal: The Campaign for Bloomsburg University, the largest capital fundraising drive in the university’s history. More than $46 million has been raised to date.

Facilities improvements have been a cornerstone of Soltz’s presidency with the development of the campus Facilities Master Plan, approved in 2013. He has overseen additions and renovations to buildings including Haas Center for the Arts, Bakeless Center, Hartline Science Center, Nelson Field House, Sutliff Hall and Columbia and Elwell residence halls, as well as a number of projects to reduce energy consumption. A new residence hall complex is under construction, set to open in fall 2017.

Service and leadership

Soltz has been actively engaged in service and leadership in higher education as a member of the board of directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and vice chair of AASCU’s Policies and Purposes Committee. He frequently serves as the leader of an accreditation site visit team for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Soltz also serves as chair of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

In addition, he has expanded the university’s local community and regional outreach, including serving on the Geisinger Health System Advisory Council and the board of directors of DRIVE, a new regional economic development non-governmental organization.

Soltz’s retirement is effective June 30, 2017.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.