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Council of Trustees

The Commonwealth University Council of Trustees, appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania and approved by the Senate, are charged with reviewing the administration, fiscal management and physical plant of the university.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Friday, October 11, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Trustee Roles

The Trustees also conduct an annual evaluation of the president, which is given to the Chancellor for submission to PASSHE's Board of Governors. Based upon recommendations from the president, the Council of Trustees reviews and approves standards for:

  • the admission, discipline, and expulsion of students
  • policies and procedures governing use of institutional facilities and property
  • the creation of schools and academic programs
  • annual operating and capital budget requirements
  • charges for room and board, other fees (except student activity fees)

Council of Trustees Documents

Council of Trustees Members

Mr. John Wetzel, former Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, began his career in corrections in 1989 as an officer at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility. He transferred to the Berks County Prison, where he was a correctional officer, treatment counselor, supervisor of treatment services, and training academic director until becoming warden of the Franklin County Jail in 2002. He is the CEO of Phronema Justice Strategies, LLC, and will shortly launch a non-profit focusing on Pennsylvania county criminal justice programs and national reform work.

Wetzel ’98 (Bloomsburg) was appointed as the state Board of Pardons’ corrections expert in June 2007, confirmed as secretary of corrections in 2011, and retired in 2021 as the longest serving Secretary of Corrections in the history of Pennsylvania. He is the father of four daughters.

Ms. Karen Russell is vice president of Keystone North, Inc., located in Covington, Pennsylvania. Keystone North is a metal-working company specializing in welding and fabrication services, steel sales, and machine shop services. Her career in the manufacturing and metal-working sectors has spanned over 42 years. Keystone North, Inc. is a Pennsylvania Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise.

Russell is also a partner in Mama’s Sweet Tooth, LLC, an e-commerce and regional bakery.

She earned the 2007 Woman Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center and the 2013 Governor’s Impact Award for Small Business Impact.

Russell earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Mansfield State College in 1979 and her Master of Science in Business Management from Elmira College in 2010.

Russell is currently the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees Treasurer (PACT), and is active in local and regional economic development organizations.

Russell’s interest in life-long learning is supported by her family; husband, David, Mansfield Class of ’63 and their blended family of six children; Adrienne (Mansfield ’93), Kate (Mansfield ’03), David, Zachary, Joshua (Mansfield ’09), and Patrick. With the support of her family, she continues the pursuit of her personal goals; to discover, grow, and provide positive impact on others.

Mr. Hanna graduated from LHU in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master degree from LHU in 2008 in liberal arts, with a focus in political science.

He was appointed to the LHU Council of Trustees in 2015 and was elected to serve as secretary of the Council LHU Council of Trustees in 2020. He was then elected to serve as secretary of Commonwealth University Council of Trustees.

Hanna was named the executive deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in December 2018. He now serves as the executive deputy secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development. He previously served as executive deputy secretary of Legislative Affairs for Governor Wolf, where he worked with many agencies, including Agriculture and DCED, helping to advance the Governor’s legislative priorities, develop strategy, and serve as a critical link between the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office. Previously, he served as a floor manager for the Minority Leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

In 2005 he was elected to the Clinton County Government Study Commission, where he served as vice chair and chair of the Commission. He currently resides in Cumberland County with his daughter, Sloane.

Mr. Elby is the co-founder, CEO and president of Alternative Rehabilitation Communities, a non-profit human services agency, founded in 1975 that has been recognized as one of the most successful juvenile treatment programs in the country.

In addition to serving as a trustee since 1983 at his alma mater, Lock Haven, Elby has served as a member of the PASSHE Board of Governors, Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittee, the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Equal Justice Initiative’s Advisory Committee, the York County Chamber of Commerce, the York County United Way, the WellSpan Board of Directors, and school board director for the Central York School District. He was elected to serve as chairperson of the LHU Council of Trustees in 2020.

Elby is married to Brenda, an LHU alumna, and they reside in the York area. His eldest son resides in State College and is a recruiting coordinator for Penn State football. In 2013, Elby was inducted into the LHU Business Hall of Fame.

Mr. Patrick Henderson is director of government affairs for the Marcellus Shale Coalition. In this role, Henderson assists the members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition in navigating a host of important public policy issues which affect the safe and responsible development of shale gas resources. The Marcellus Shale Coalition is the largest advocacy organization representing operators and affiliated companies involved in the development of natural gas in the Commonwealth.

Prior to this role, Henderson served as deputy chief of staff and energy executive for Governor Tom Corbett. As deputy chief of staff, Henderson served as the primary liaison to the Governor’s Office for nearly a dozen Cabinet-level executive state agencies. Henderson was a senior advisor on energy policy; partnering with state agencies to coordinate a cohesive energy strategy that reflected Governor Corbett’s vision for energy; and worked with citizens and stakeholders on advancing sound energy policies in the Commonwealth. He led the effort to publish Pennsylvania’s first ever State Energy Plan, published in January 2014.

Before serving on Governor Corbett’s executive staff, Henderson spent 14 years on staff in the state Senate. From 1999 to 2011, Henderson served as the executive director of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. During this time, he helped craft laws such as Growing Greener, the Water Resources Planning Act, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, the Dormant Oil and Gas Act, the Alternative Energy Investment Act, The Coal Mine Safety Act and others.

Henderson served on Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, charged with crafting a comprehensive and strategic plan for the safe and responsible development of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. He also helped craft and seek enactment of Act 13 of 2012, the comprehensive Marcellus Shale law which updated the state’s oil and gas statutes for the first time in nearly three decades. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Advisory Committee.

Henderson is a 1996 graduate of Bloomsburg with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He resides in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, with his wife and two children.

Mrs. Susan Kefover completed five terms as a Potter County Commissioner. A Potter County native, she is a 1970 graduate of Lock Haven with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Kefover and her husband Jay live in Galeton and enjoy the quality of life and vibrancy of knowing and being involved in the lives and activities of the area’s communities.

Mrs. Kefover ran for the U.S. Senate in 1988, successfully winning 57 counties in the primary election. Her focus in government has been economic development, revitalizing downtowns, human service delivery coordination, criminal justice reform, education, workforce development, and healthcare.

She served as a member of Governor Wolf’s Advisory Council on Rural Affairs, Pennsylvania Downtown Center’s Board of Directors, Chief Elected Official of the North Central Workforce Development Board, Community and Economic Development Committee of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, Potter County Natural Gas Task Force, Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Council, Potter County Human Services Advisory Council, Office of Aging Advisory Council, Water Quality Committee, and UPMC/Cole Memorial Health Council, the Galeton Development Corporation, a chair of the Downtown Marketing Committee. She initiated a Circuit Rider position for Potter County downtown districts and was instrumental in establishing a coordinated human service delivery system which is a model for other counties in Pennsylvania.

Susan was copyeditor for the American Society of Microbiology in Washington, DC., until 1973, when she returned home to help run the family business, J.P. Sullivan Distributors. Her service in county government as a commissioner began in 1979. She then contracted with the Potter County Redevelopment Authority for special projects and to do the Business Retention and Expansion Program for the State of Pennsylvania. Later she was hired by Adelphia Communications as a community development consultant.

She has served as a substitute teacher, executive director of the Galeton Development Corporation, administering Galeton’s Revitalization Plan, and initiated the removal of 20,000 tons of silt from Berger Lake by the Pennsylvania National Guard and Air Guard’s Engineering Units. From 2002 to 2007 she was editor of the Open Door Ministry, a national and international Christian tract ministry and an outreach to prisoners. From 2004 to 2009, she produced and hosted “Issues and Answers,” a television talk show on WGCB-TV based in the Harrisburg area.

Past board memberships include the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, County Commissioner Association of Pennsylvania’s Human Service Committee, Economic Advisory Council for the Western Region of Pennsylvania for Senator Rick Santorum, Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, First Citizen’s Community Bank Advisory Council, Potter County Education Council, and Galeton Borough Council.

Active in public speaking and ministry, Kefover also has many interests from exercising to decorating and embraces challenges as opportunities.

Mr. Steven Crawford is a 1981 graduate of Mansfield with a degree in Political Science. He was a first-generation college student and is a native of Millville. Crawford is the 2011 recipient of the Elsie Burke Service Award which recognizes outstanding leadership, loyalty and service to Mansfield University. 

Crawford is president of Wojdak Government Relations, one of the most prestigious and long-standing government relations firms in Pennsylvania. Clients of the firm include the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phillies, Microsoft, and the American Red Cross to name a few.

Crawford had a career in public service that has spanned more than 25 years at the highest levels of state government. He completed his public service to the Commonwealth by serving as Chief of Staff to Governor Ed Rendell. He was the top adviser to the Governor and managed the day-to-day activities of the executive branch of state government, including 18 cabinet agencies and the Governor’s Office. Prior to that post, Crawford served as the Governor’s Secretary for Legislative Affairs. He was the top representative for the Governor on all matters relative to the 203 members of the House of Representatives and the 50 members of the Senate. He directed the legislative relations of the Governor’s Office and all agencies of the Commonwealth.

Crawford came to the Governor’s Office from the House of Representatives where he served on the executive staff. He was the executive director of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, leadership executive director to the Majority Caucus Chairman, and senior advisor to the Democratic Caucus.

He previously served in the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey. As a Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, he was responsible for all policy development and legislative affairs of the agency. He also managed rural economic development issues, marketing, and land preservation programs. During his tenure, Pennsylvania established the nation’s most successful farmland conversation program.

Crawford currently serves on the board of directors of Millers Mutual Insurance Company. He is an emeritus board member of Camp Victory, and he previously served on the board of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children and Mansfield University.

Ms. Angela Smith is a Clinton County native and 2007 alumna of Lock Haven. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in education with a concentration in Spanish and a minor in mathematics.

Smith continued her studies and graduated from the University of Boston Massachusetts with her Master’s degree in applied linguistics with a concentration in ESL.

Hired by Bald Eagle Area School District two months after graduation from Lock Haven, she continues there as a Spanish teacher and their elementary Spanish program coordinator. At Bald Eagle Area, she created and produced a unique curriculum and fun-to-learn Spanish introductory program that has her also reaching every elementary student from kindergarten through fifth grades in the four-school district.

When not working, Smith enjoys being with her family, travels to Costa Rica to continue connections made during her study abroad with Lock Haven, serves at her church, and volunteers with Clinton County Camp Cadet.

Mr. Callahan is a partner at Maverick Strategies, a government relations and political consulting firm in Harrisburg. He previously served as the chief of staff to the Majority Leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Before that, he served as the executive director to the House Republican Whip and as the executive director of the House Republican Policy Committee. Callahan has also worked on the Commerce Committee in the House Republican Research Department and staffed several caucus task forces.

Appointed to the Lock Haven Council of Trustees in 2012, Callahan is a 2002 alumnus and a former Bald Eagle football player, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Callahan, his wife Megan, and their two daughters, Kyla and Scarlett, currently reside in Mechanicsburg.

Mr. Raymond Zaborney, who earned a degree in political science from Bloomsburg, is the co-founder of Red Maverick Media, a media strategy group in Harrisburg. He is also the founding partner of State Street Strategies, a lobbying and government relations firm he operates with his wife, Jen.

He was named a rising star in Pennsylvania Politics in 2004 by PoliticsPA and was named as one of the nation’s 10 rising stars in Republican politics by Campaigns and Elections in 2006. Campaigns and Elections Magazine named Zaborney one of the five most influential Republicans in the state. In 2013, Zaborney won a Central Penn Business Journal “40 under 40” award. He has been named one of the top 17 most influential people in the state by and as one of the hundred most powerful people in the state by City and State Magazine.

Zaborney was appointed to the Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees by Governor Tom Wolf in 2020.

Ms. Amy Brayford is the executive vice president, chief of staff and the chief human resource officer for Geisinger. A member of the Geisinger team since 1997, Brayford has served in a number of human resource roles including generalist, operations manager, associate vice president and vice president. In her current role, Brayford leads the organization-wide HR strategy, and is the senior leader working with internal audits and compliance, development and board relations.

A graduate of Bloomsburg University, she earned her master’s degree at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. Prior to joining Geisinger, she served as a quality coordinator at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, adult education instructor at the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit and adjunct professor at Harrisburg Area Community College. She was a member of the Bloomsburg University College of Business Advisory Board and currently serves on the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.

Brayford was appointed to the Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees by Governor Tom Wolf in 2018.

Dr. Brian O’Donnell, proprietor of New Era Eye Care, Shavertown, earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree and a Master’s of Science degree from Bloomsburg, followed by a doctorate degree from Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He is a past member of the Board of Education for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. His many professional and civic affiliations include the serving on the Board of Directors for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind, past President of the Board, and currently serving as Board Secretary.

A Wilkes-Barre native, Dr. O’Donnell has been in private practice for over two decades. He and his wife Marcy, also a Bloomsburg alumna, have a son and reside in Luzerne County.

O’Donnell founded the Gift of Sight program, which serves underprivileged people with sight problems in three counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania by having eye doctors in the area donate a portion of their eyeglass sales. He has also served and serves on many boards in an effort to help the community.

O’Donnell was appointed to the Bloomsburg University Council of Trustees by Governor Tom Wolf in 2016.

Ms. Jessica Dodge is a nursing major representing Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg.

Ms. Tynesha Holloway is a criminal justice major representing Commonwealth University - Lock Haven.

Mr. Marvens Ravix is a biology major representing Commonwealth University - Mansfield.

Commonwealth University Minutes Archive

Commonwealth University Council of Trustees Meeting Minutes Archives

Legacy Institution Minutes Archive

Archived Minutes from each CU location prior to integration.

Minutes Bundled by Years


Minutes Bundled by Years