Cale encourages students to get involved at UNA

Pennsylvania native Bill Cale has been the president of UNA since 2005.

Raised in Springfield, Penn., Cale was an only child and attended Pennsylvania State University to earn his baccalaureate degree in ecology.

Cale went on to receive a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia and spent the next several years as a professor.

Being the president of UNA is not the first CEO position that Cale has held, though. Before accepting the position, Cale was the chief executive officer and dean of Pennsylvania State University, as well as the executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Becoming the president of a university was never part of the plan, Cale said.

“This wasn’t anything that was ever on my radar,” Cale said. “But interests change, plans change and people go in many different directions.”

Cale was appointed president of UNA in November 2004 but did not officially begin until January 2005. Since then, he has also taught ecology classes at UNA and been invited as a guest lecturer to several classes.

Cale said he has enjoyed being part of all the university has accomplished in recent years and that choosing one major achievement is difficult.

“I’m proud of the way UNA has embraced the idea of global issues,” Cale said. “Also, the work we’ve done to build university advancement and the added degree programs, as well as the ones we’re working on.”

Cale said he has multiple visions for the university in upcoming years.

“On the philosophical side, I want more and more prospective students to be aware of this university and the quality opportunities we offer,” Cale said. “Pragmatically, I want to see our science building and academic and student commons center constructed and our partnership with the Chinese university underway and formally integrated.”

Cale said he doubts he will ever return to teaching full-time.

“It’s difficult to turn loose of the opportunity to make positive changes once you’re in that position,” Cale said. “I do hope that I can stay meaningfully connected to the university when I retire, though.”

Cale said he has two important pieces of advice to offer incoming and current students.

“First, this is the only time, in all likelihood, that you’ll be able to focus all of your time on learning. It’s a real gift to be able to have four to five years to learn. Take advantage of it.

“Second, find something beyond the classroom to get involved with. Be engaged with others around you.”

On the average day, Cale said he attends anywhere from three to four meetings for the university and completes at least an hour of paperwork. He said he is also involved in a number of off-campus engagements such as various fundraising groups for the community.

Cale said he enjoys doing numerous things during his free time.

“I like to play golf,” Cale said. “I also read a tremendous amount. And I will occasionally play tournament-level duplicate bridge.”

Cale and his wife currently reside in the President’s Home on campus, and they have two grown sons in Texas.