IUPUC leader takes new position

The top administrator at IUPUC is leaving June 30 to take a new position in Pennsylvania.

Vice Chancellor and Dean Marwan A. Wafa, 57, hired in 2009, will be the new chancellor at Pennsylvania State University’s Worthington Scranton campus.

“I reached a peak at IUPUC, and that’s why it’s a great time to move on,” Wafa said. “When you have done all you could, you need a new perspective.”

Everyone has an internal clock and knows when it’s time to move on, Wafa said, adding there is a time when a person needs new challenges and a new environment.

The new position interested him because Pennsylvania State University is a brand name, he said. The university’s Scranton campus has more land and facilities than is available at IUPUC.

While in Columbus, Wafa helped create substantial growth for the university. The number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded more than tripled. Between 2010 and 2014, that number rose from 80 to 249.

“This has been an important piece of our mission that I feel very proud of,” Wafa said.

During his tenure, Wafa helped with the addition of college residential housing that will benefit IUPUC and other nearby colleges.

Wafa called the opening of IUPUC’s new student housing development — The Annex of Columbus — “a game changer because it will change the culture of the entire campus community.”

Bringing the 112-bed development on Poshard Drive to the Columbus Learning Center was one of Wafa’s goals.

The residence hall will be used by students attending IUPUC, Ivy Tech Community College — Columbus, Purdue College of Technology, Harrison College and Trine University.

Wafa also led the campus in adding degree programs in nursing, mental health counseling and English and communication studies.

IUPUC is headed in the right direction and will have continued growth in the coming years, Wafa predicted. He said his lone regret is that his time in Columbus went by so quickly.

IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar is planning on discussing hiring Wafa’s replacement with the IUPUC community.

Wafa described his replacement as someone who needs to have a passion for students, faculty and staff, and who is engaged in the local and regional community.

Marwan Wafa

Name: Marwan A. Wafa

Age: 57

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University. Doctorate of Philosophy in Industrial Management from the Clemson University College of Business and Behavioral Science. Certificate, Management and Leadership Education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Career Stops: Vice Chancellor & Dean, IUPUC (September 2009 – June 2015); Dean, Saginaw Valley State University (June 2005 – September 2009); Dean of School of Business and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Parkside (June 2000 – June 2005); Held multiple positions culminating in Associate Associate Dean & MBA Program Director, University of Southern Indiana (July 1986 – June 2000).

Community Involvement: Columbus Chamber of Commerce; Economic Development Board; Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives; Community Education Coalition; United Way of Bartholomew County Board of Directors; Jackson County Education Coalition; Healthy Community Initiative; Columbus Regional Health Foundation Board of Directors; Columbus Visitor’s Center.