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Penn State Fayette Chancellor Emmanuel I. Osagie dies

3/10/2010 —

Emmanuel I. Osagie, chancellor of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon (March 9) from complications due to an illness. He became chancellor of Penn State Fayette in February 2007. A native of Nigeria, Osagie led the campus with energy and inspired the campus community with a vision that the Fayette campus would strive to become the region’s premier student-centered university.

Dr. Osagie"Dr. Osagie was an enthusiastic and charismatic chancellor who brought enlightened leadership to Penn State Fayette," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "The entire Penn State family mourns the loss of a very dedicated and dynamic champion."

Among Osagie's proudest achievements was the internationalization of the Fayette campus, including welcoming eight international students as part of the student body, the recently announced partnership with Saveetha University in India to help educate nursing students and the expansion of international travel opportunities for Fayette students.

During his time at Penn State Fayette, Osagie introduced a number of signature events to the campus including the annual Coal and Coke Heritage Music Festival; the CEO Conversations speakers series; the annual Blues and White Gala, which raises funds for student scholarships; Science Forensics, a program to help underachieving 8th and 9th graders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; as well as other academic initiatives. He also was the driving force behind the recent addition of the physical therapist assistant associate degree program to campus offerings and the creation of a trading floor to provide an advanced learning environment for students.

John Romano, vice president for the Commonwealth Campuses who oversees the Fayette campus along with 18 other Penn State campuses, also praised Osagie as a "man of vision and passion."

"It is so very sad to lose a man like Dr. Osagie who led the Fayette campus for an all-too-brief period of time," Romano said. "His drive and his dedication to the Fayette campus were inspiring. He will be sadly missed by all of his Penn State colleagues."

Campus leaders also praise Osagie for his dedication not only to the Fayette campus, but also to the local community, which he worked to partner with in a number of areas to improve the economic viability of the entire region.

Before coming to Penn State, Osagie worked in postsecondary education as a teacher, professor, director and administrator. He consistently was involved in local and community partnerships as a way of bridging the academic enterprise and the community. He received his Ph.D. and master of science degrees in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University, and his bachelor of science degree from Southern University, graduating magna cum laude and as the "Most Outstanding Student Graduate." After graduation, he served as an assistant professor and later an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Southern University, Louisiana.

In 1996, Osagie was associate vice chancellor of the Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives at Southern University and A&M College. During this time, he also founded and served as director of the Center for Economic Development. One of the highlights of the center was the preparation of an economic development plan for the tri-state delta community of Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Osagie left Louisiana in 2000 to accept the challenge to build and provide leadership to the research and faculty development enterprise at The College of New Jersey, first as director of Sponsored Research, and then as vice provost for Research and Faculty Development. After serving as the vice provost and interim dean of The College of New Jersey’s School of Business, he was asked to assume the role of dean on a full time basis.

Osagie also was a National Institute of Health Extramural Associate based on a five-month residency training in research administration at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. He conducted regional grant-writing workshops for NASA, served as grants reviewer and taught fundamentals of research administration classes for the National Council of University Research Administrators. He published many articles and scholarly reports.

Osagie is survived by his wife, Pat, and a daughter and son, Kim and Kevin, as well as other family members.

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