ACT Community Builder Dr. Karen Wiley Sandler

Karen Sandler; ceo - Abington - 3-11-02Dr. Karen Wiley Sandler has served as the chief executive of Penn State Abington since July 1994.  She is the first recipient of an endowed Chancellor’s Chair at Penn State.

Before arriving at Penn State, Dr. Sandler served as vice president and dean of Academic Affairs at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph.D. in romance languages at the University of Pennsylvania and taught as a tenured faculty member at the University of Vermont from 1969 until 1985 when she accepted her first full-time administrative appointment as Assistant Dean of the College at Gettysburg College. Dr. Sandler has written and spoken on French Renaissance literature, curriculum transformation, writing across the curriculum, women and risk, and leadership.  In 1987, she became a member of the State Planning Committee of the American Council of Education’s (ACE) etwork, designed to advance women in higher education and served for more than five years as a State Co-Coordinator for this project.  She remains involved in the activities of ACE nationally and locally. She is active with the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, serving in roles such as periodic review evaluator, visiting team chair, visiting team member, and conference presenter on planning and assessment.

Dr. Sandler serves on the Board of Directors of the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Committee of Abington Township, and she is a founding member of the Business Resources Information Center (BRIC), an economic development partnership for Abington Township, Penn State Abington, and the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.  She also serves as a member of the Executive Advisory Committee for the EASTERN Center for Arts and Technology and a member of the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board. She has served as a member of boards supporting the arts, economic development, educational equity, and community planning.

Dr. Sandler has been recognized for her leadership by the Eastern Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the Poor Richard Club, Abington Township, the Montgomery County Chapter of the March of Dimes, and by the members of the Penn State Abington Class of 1998, who awarded her the Lion Heart Award for her commitment to students.

Dr. Sandler retires as of June 30, 2016, and she plans to write, teach, and garden.