Robert E. Eiche
Robert E. Eiche served as the inaugural campus director from 1939 to 1968, steering the institution from its incipient days as the Altoona Undergraduate Center through its transformation into the Altoona campus of Penn State. David R. Pugh, director of undergraduate centers for Penn State College, recommended Eiche for the directorship. “We are sending you a man who is a builder, an educator, and a fine administrator.”
John L. Leathers
John L. Leathers served as campus director from 1968 to 1975 when he was promoted to the position of administrative director of Penn State’s commonwealth campus system. Having earned his doctorate in higher education at Penn State, his career began in 1957 at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, where he served as dean of men and assistant professor of education and psychology.
Carson Veach served as campus director from 1975 to 1983. A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, Veach was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Harvard before earning his doctorate at Indiana University. After leaving Penn State Altoona, Veach served as dean of the graduate school and continuing education at Bridgewater State College and later as vice president and provost for academic affairs at Chicago State University. Veach retired from academic life in 2004.
James A. Duplass
James A. (Jimmy) Duplass served as Penn State Altoona’s chief administrator from 1983 to 1991. Duplass earned his doctorate from St. Louis University in 1974, and he later worked as associate provost at Wayne State University. In 1991, he left Penn State Altoona to accept an appointment at the University of South Florida’s Fort Myers Campus.
Kjell Meling joined Penn State Altoona as director of academic affairs in 1978. From 1991 to 1994, he served as interim campus executive officer before becoming the college's first associate dean for academic affairs. Known for his rapier wit, Meling developed a strong and capable faculty of scholars and artists. He is often credited with establishing the academic firmament for the college's elevation into four-year degree-granting status in 1997. In 2006, his widow Diane created the endowment for the Kjell Meling Award for Distinction in the Arts and Humanities.
Allen C. Meadors
CEO and Dean
Allen C. Meadors served as Penn State Altoona’s chief executive officer and dean from 1994 to 1999. Before joining Penn State Altoona, he worked as professor and dean of the College of Health at Eastern Washington University, as well as dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma. In July 1999, he was appointed as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. In 2009, he was appointed as president of the University of Central Arkansas.
Robert N. Pangborn
Interim CEO and Dean
Robert N. Pangborn served as the college’s interim chief executive officer and dean during the 1999-2000 academic year. Pangborn earned his doctorate from Rutgers University in 1979. In addition to serving as a professor of engineering mechanics, he served as associate dean for undergraduate studies at Penn State’s College of Engineering. In January 2006, he was appointed the vice president and dean for undergraduate education.
William G. Cale Jr.
CEO and Dean
William G. Cale Jr. served as Penn State Altoona’s chief administrator from 2000 to 2004. A Philadelphia native, Cale earned his doctorate from the University of Georgia in 1975. Prior to joining Penn State Altoona, he served as executive vice president for academic affairs at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. In January 2005, Cale was appointed as the president of the University of North Alabama.
Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry
Chancellor and Dean
Following the departure of William Cale, Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry served as interim CEO and dean until May 2005, when she was appointed as the college’s first female chancellor and dean. Having joined the campus faculty in 1985, Bechtel-Wherry earned her doctorate from Penn State in 1987. In addition to serving as a professor of biobehavioral health and women’s studies, Bechtel-Wherry had previously served as one of the college’s inaugural division heads and as associate dean for academic affairs.
Ron W. Darbeau
Dr. Ron W. Darbeau assumed the role of Chancellor of Penn State Altoona in January 2023. He had previously served as vice president for faculty affairs and academic operations at Commonwealth University, the integrated institution of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Darbeau holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in chemistry from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus, and both master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Johns Hopkins University.