Aaron A. Walton has been named the president of Cheyney University by The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education after a vote late Monday.
According to PhillyTrib – Walton, who has been serving as interim president of the historically Black institution outside of Philadelphia since May, will serve as president through June 30, 2021.
“Mr. Walton has clearly demonstrated that he can in fact make meaningful changes that will move the university forward,” said Cheyney University Council of Trustees Chair Robert Bogle.
Bogle, who is also the president and CEO of The Tribune, said a presidential search had begun, but was later halted. The Council of Trustees met with administrators, faculty, alumni and students during a meeting held on Cheyney’s campus Nov. 2, at which time they were notified that Walton was being considered as the college’s next president.
The move comes as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education will vote on Thursday regarding the accreditation status of the 180-year-old institution. Middle States was concerned about Cheyney’s finances, majors and permanent leadership positions.
During his tenure at Highmark, Walton established and implemented a number of strategic healthcare initiatives that yielded community and company-wide growth and advancement, including an award winning program that was one of the first programs in America to address childhood obesity and bullying.
While Vice-President at Highmark and following retirement, He served as Vice Chair of the PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors, where he was also Chair of Academic and Student Affairs, and Chair of Human Resources. Walton was also a longtime member of California University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees, and chair from 1999 to 2003.
Most recently, Walton was co-chair of the Board of Governors appointed Cheyney Task Force, which constructed and approved, a “conceptual framework” for a new business model for Cheyney, which includes the creation of an “Institute for the Contemporary African-American Experience” within the university.
Walton brings to Cheyney his expertise in strategic planning and intends to address the university’s challenges head-on, while leading the efforts to develop a final version of the Task Force model. Read more.