Dr. Kenneth Zirkle
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Kenneth Zirkle has served as interim chief administrator at North East since last July when his predecessor Dr. Gary Brown was promoted to a new post on the Erie campus as senior vice president and senior financial strategist. Zirkle continues in his current capacity while also assuming the role of associate provost for the university’s emerging College of Associate Degree Studies.
During Zirkle’s brief interim position at Mercyhurst North East, he has created a new athletic program in swimming, strengthened relationships with the local high school, held promising meetings with local leaders in agri-business, created a student learning center to improve retention and has lobbied hard for capital improvements at North East, many of which will come to fruition over the next few years, Gamble noted.
Previously Zirkle served as the president of Findlay University for 10 years. While there he grew enrollment from under 1,000 students to more than 4,600 students. During his time there, the endowment more than quadrupled and he created 20 new undergraduate academic programs. During a four-year presidency at Becker College, he created several new academic programs, added several athletic programs and nearly doubled enrollment. And during his presidency at Post University, he doubled enrollment of new students and improved student retention from fall to spring of the freshman year by 20 percent.
Dr. Thomas Staszewski
Dean of Academic Services
Dr. Tom Staszewski joined Mercyhurst North East in 2004, after serving as an administrator for one of the largest community college systems in the nation for 17 years. Dr. Staszewski earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Penn State University, his master’s in adult and community education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his doctor of education in higher education administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.