Penn State administrator tapped to head student housing at Indiana State

May 9, 2013

Indiana State University officials have selected a Penn State administrator to oversee student housing.

Amanda Knerr will serve as executive director of residential life, which includes housing for more than 4,000 students.

Knerr has been senior associate director of residence life at The Pennsylvania State University since 2007. She has breadth and depth of experience in residential life and student housing, along with campus and college system responsibilities that make for a good fit at Indiana State, Joshua Powers, Indiana State's interim associate vice president for student success, said in making the announcement.

"We have a unique student demographic at ISU, one with a critical mass of first generation, low-income, and minority students," Powers said. "She understands how this is a unique asset and how we can further leverage the benefits of on-campus living for academic and co-curricular success."

At Penn State, Knerr is responsible for planning, staffing, program development and budgeting for a residential life system serving 17,000 students on nine campuses.

"I am excited to have someone with Amanda's energy and enthusiasm as our new executive director of residential life," Indiana State President Dan Bradley said. "Student success depends in large measure on an engaged and student focused housing operation."

Knerr said she feels fortunate to join Indiana State during a time of campus and enrollment growth. The university's board of trustees on Friday approved a 30-year lease for a downtown Terre Haute student housing and retail development project that when completed will house more than 200 students.

"I am eager to begin working with my colleagues to build upon current programs and services that support student learning and development and increase student retention and success," she said. "As we continue to renovate our existing buildings and develop partnerships with downtown Terre Haute for the new apartment community, I am enthusiastic to begin conversations with staff and students about how our spaces and our programs can be designed to further build upon and enhance our students' experience."

While at Penn State, Knerr provided primary oversight for a database upgrade for the environment report system at the university's main campus in University Park and implemented the system at other Penn State residential campuses. She also planned and implemented changes in campus orientation and spring visitation day and created a comprehensive assessment plan for an environmental literacy program.

She previously served as associate director of student affairs at Penn State Erie, the Behrand College, residence life manager at the University of Alaska, Southeast and assistant residence hall director at Ball State. She also worked as a secondary education teacher at Marion Abramson High School in New Orleans.

Knerr is chair of the American College Personnel Association's Commission for Assessment and Evaluation, chaired the ACPA's sustainability institute planning team and served on the association's sustainability committee. She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Wittenberg University and a master's in student affairs administration in higher education from Ball State. She is scheduled to complete a Ph.D. in higher education administration at Penn State in 2014.

"Penn State has one of the premier programs in the country in higher education administration," said Jack Maynard, Indiana State's provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Amanda's scholarly contribution is already impressive and one that can be valuable in building rapport with faculty in partnering for student success."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-bgwD73z/0/L/i-bgwD73z-L.jpg

Contact: Joshua Powers, interim associate vice president for student success, Indiana State University, 812-237-8378 or joshua.powers@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu