WYOMISSING, Pa. — Radha Pyati has been named the next chancellor and dean of Penn State Berks, effective July 1. Pyati will be joining the Penn State community from West Chester University, where she served as the dean for the College of Sciences and Mathematics. She is an accomplished researcher and author, award-winning environmentalist, and a leader in STEM education.
Pyati succeeds former Chancellor George Grant Jr., who was named president of Saginaw Valley State University this past December. Todd Migliaccio, associate dean of academic affairs at Penn State Berks, has been filling in as interim chancellor.
"We are excited to welcome Dr. Pyati to Penn State Berks as the new chancellor and dean," said Kelly Austin, Penn State vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor. "She has a proven track record of success as an educator and academic leader. The faculty, staff and students at Penn State Berks will benefit from her experienced leadership. Dr. Pyati deeply understands the essential mission of our Commonwealth Campuses, and shares these values of the University — all have which have made her the right person to lead Penn State Berks."
Pyati has been with West Chester University since 2018. While dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics, she led nine departments, 145 tenured and tenure-track faculty, 25 staff and 3,440 students in more than 40 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs; and oversaw a 13% increase in total majors. She supervised a budget of $37 million, including university funds, a foundation portfolio, and $7.5 million in research grants. Pyati also assisted with external relations, being heavily involved with the community, and building partnerships with federal and state legislators.
“I’m excited to join the Penn State Berks community and to become a part of Penn State. I met some wonderful students, faculty and staff during my visit, and I can’t wait to work with them,” said Pyati. “Elevating student outcomes and the growth of Penn State Berks is an inspiring mission to me.”
Prior to her role at West Chester, Pyati worked at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. She also served as president of the Faculty Association, director of the Environmental Center, and chair and professor of chemistry at the University of North Florida. During her tenure at North Florida, Pyati supported her fellow faculty members by introducing new opportunities, and helped raise enrollment by assisting with recruiting. Most recently, she was a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Đà Nẵng in Vietnam.
Pyati holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ohio State University and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An accomplished researcher, she has authored more than 40 papers, book chapters, and reports in chemistry and environmental science and participated in over 30 research projects as a principal investigator. At WCU, under her leadership the College of Sciences and Mathematics raised over $3.4 million for scholarships, faculty support and STEM programming, and planned the $130 million Science and Engineering Complex. She has championed efforts to increase the diversity of faculty and students in her college, with over 50% of faculty hires being women in sciences, engineering and mathematics disciplines. She also led several major environmental research projects in the Lower St. Johns River Basin, describing water quality, aquatic life, fisheries and contaminants for the public, for which she won the 2018 City of Jacksonville Environmental Protections Board Award of Merit.