Dr. Anne Skleder, provost and academic vice president, will leave Cabrini at the end of the semester and take up the same position at Wilkes University. Wilkes, with more than 3,000 full-time students, is larger than Cabrini.
Skleder guided the college through a difficult examination by the Middle States accrediting agency and brought the college into full compliance with academic standards.
With the support and assistance of Skleder, many professors have developed programs that have been launched during her time at Cabrini: Masters of Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education Certification, and Masters in Leadership with three added tracks: Organizational, Civic, and Non-Profit.
In addition to the programs provided to the school and its current and prospective students, Skleder has also helped to develop a program where Cabrini has partnerships with area schools. These partnerships allow juniors and seniors in high school to take reduced-rate courses online or at their school, earning up to 21 Cabrini College credits.
The role of an administrator is one that you must be nominated for. Skleder explains that you must make sure the school is right for you and that you are right for the school. “Is this a mission fit,” Skleder said. That is always a question that Skleder ask herself before embarking on a new journey. The Cabrini College mission, “dedicated to academic excellence, leadership development, and a commitment to social justice,” is what drew Skleder to the Cabrini community.
An administrator’s role is to administer. To administer means to serve. Vice President/Provost Dr. Anne Skleder believes that it is important to serve and meet the needs of the community. “Being an administrator is a vocation not a job,” Skleder said.
Skleder believed that prior to coming to Cabrini that the mission was perfectly aligned with her values and interest. “My time here at Cabrini has been a wonderful experience,” Skleder said. “It will be four years in May that I was welcomed here.” Skleder does not use welcoming lightly because not many places are.
Skleder has given support and motivation to add to the growth of the Cabrini community. She believes however that she has gained more than she has given. Skleder has helped to support innovation amongst the development of programs. She has also had her hand in hiring and mentoring faculty and staff.
As Skleder transitions from Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs at Cabrini College to Senior Vice President/Provost to Wilkes University, she is excited yet saddened to leave. “It’s bittersweet to turn the page and take a step into a new chapter,” Skleder said.
Change is something that Skleder believes comes with the title of an educator. Though Wilkes University favors Cabrini, they also have programs that are new and different for her as well. “Wilkes began as a two-year college based on a need in the community,” Skleder said. Once a two-year college, now Wilkes awards doctoral degrees.
“As an educator it is important to take on new challenges,” Skleder said.
Wilkes places emphasis on mentoring, which is something that is very important to Skleder. If it weren’t for the mentoring that Skleder received throughout her life and career she wouldn’t have accomplished so much. “Again it’s about making sure that you can not only give but something can be given to you,” Skleder said.
Skleder has traveled from Pittsburgh to the Philadelphia area and now to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Moving from one place to another is definitely part of the administration fit. “Not everybody can do that,” Skleder said. She says it’s a little easier for her because she doesn’t have children. She has extended family all over Pennsylvania and siblings in Pittsburgh where her journey began.
Skleder hopes to have left a mark on Cabrini’s campus and leaves the community with helpful advice. She advises students to think of the education that they receive here at Cabrini and wherever else education may take them. “It is the single biggest investment in your life,” Skleder said. “It is time, money, a privilege and an enormous opportunity that should not be taken for granted.”
Skleder knows what it means to receive a valuable education because she herself holds a master’s and doctorate’s in social and organizational psychology. “Most importantly in your experiences have fun and be open.”
“It may seem trite but my parents were my biggest motivation,” Skleder said. “They taught me that opportunity was unlimited but I had to work hard.” Skleder hopes that her spirit and her help lingers on even when she leaves Cabrini.
“I want students to be able to use me as a resource in the future,” Skleder said. “I am a frequent user of LinkedIn. That is the best way.” Skleder stands firm on the fact that if it wasn’t for the opportunity and relationships she has built her she would not be where she is today.
“Use all opportunities that you have,” Skleder said. She encourages those looking to have a fulfilling and effective life to find a mentor to help them along the way. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Skleder said. “Find a mentor that will tell you honestly where you are going wrong and praise you when it is wanted.”
While she is excited, Skleder knows that she is leaving an outstanding place of education. “I see the spirit of Mother Cabrini in all of the students,” Skleder said. “Cabrini is truly an extraordinary place.”