Seth Ickes – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed three members to the Clarion University Council of Trustees: Neil Weaver, Ali-Zaida and James Kifer.
Trustee Ali-Zaida has served on the Clarion Council of Trustees for many years, first being appointed in 1980 and to numerous concurrent terms since. Ali-Zaida believes he is qualified to act as a trustee at Clarion University due to a “deep interest and commitment to higher education.”
In addition, he hopes to bring an engineering program to Clarion University and is “currently working on this goal.”
Ali-Zaida said that he wishes to address many key issues at Clarion University including increasing enrollment and engaging in a cooperative agreement with state unions in order to bring engineering programs to Clarion’s campus.
Ali-Zaida placed an emphasis on engineering programs as a function to give the area a greater trained labor force.
He also wishes to promote and recognize academic excellence, specifically with his “Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence” where one student, selected from one of the14 State System universities, receives a $1,000 scholarship.
Trustee Kifer, a Clarion native, resident and local business owner expressed that “being an alumnus of Clarion gives that extra drive to see the university succeed.”
Kifer also stated that his “strong understanding of business can be useful with dealing with any organization” and that his experience being a trustee since 2009 assists him in completing the tasks of his appointment.
He also wishes to tackle the issue of the budget crisis facing the state system and wishes to “see the university reach a balanced budget while maintaining its strong accreditation standards.”