Rodney A. Erickson
Rodney A. Erickson assumed responsibilities as President of The Pennsylvania State University on November 9, 2011. Previously, Erickson served as Penn State's executive vice president and provost since July 1, 1999. As provost, he was chief academic officer of the University, responsible for administration of the University's resident instruction, research and continuing education, and for the general welfare of the faculty and students. As executive vice president, Erickson served as the chief executive officer in the president’s absence, and was centrally involved in most operations of the University.
Erickson holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota, and was awarded a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Washington in 1973. He began his academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the faculty at Penn State in 1977. He was promoted to professor in both geography and business administration in 1984. He was named dean of the Graduate School in July 1995, and in March 1997 he assumed the additional responsibilities of vice president for research.
Among his other administrative assignments at Penn State, Erickson served as head of the Department of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and as director of the Center for Regional Business Analysis and associate director of the Division of Research in the Smeal College of Business.
Erickson also served as chair of the Academic Leadership Council, which provides advice and counsel to the president on academic matters. He also was part of the Facilities Resources Committee, and a member of President's Council, as well as an ex-officio member of the University Faculty Senate and Senate Council. He has been the leader of many task forces in recent years, including the Task Force on Tuition, the University Cost Savings Task Force, and the University Strategic Planning Council. Erickson also oversaw the Academic Program and Administrative Services Review Core Council, which is the group charged with identifying $10 million in permanent cost savings and nontuition revenue sources for the University for the coming fiscal year.