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Dr. Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

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As Pennsylvania Western University’s chief executive, Dr. Dale’s leadership extends to all of PennWest’s physical locations and online operations. She leads an executive leadership team representing the university’s nine divisions: Academic Affairs; Advancement; Athletics; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Finance; Institutional Effectiveness and Student Affairs; Strategic Initiatives and Administration; University Affairs; and Virtual and Global Education.

With student needs at the forefront of every decision, “Dr. Dale” is responsible for setting policies and procedures governing academic standards; employee rights (subject to collective bargaining agreements); university finances and contracts; and other administrative functions.

Through the chancellor, she reports to the Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. Under Board policy, her recommendations in key areas are reviewed and approved by the Council of Trustees.

Prior Experience

Dr. Dale joined the State System as Clarion University’s president in 2018. She became interim president of Edinboro University in December 2020 and of California University of Pennsylvania in July 2021. She was the presidential lead for the Western Integration Project, which united those three universities to create PennWest.

Before joining the State System, Dr. Dale was dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Central Michigan University (2012-2018); associate dean of the College of Education (2010-2012) and chair of the Counselor Education Department (2007-2010) at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas; and served on the faculty at Portland State University, Ore. (2000-2007); Oregon State University (1999-2007); Sam Houston University, Texas (1998-1999); and Idaho State University (1991-1998). She worked as a registered nurse, healthcare administrator and professional counselor before beginning her career in higher education.


  • Ed.D. in Counselor Education and Counseling, Idaho State University
  • M.Coun. in Community Counseling, Idaho State University
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision, Idaho State University
  • B.S. in Liberal Studies, University of the State of New York-Albany
  • A.S. in Professional Registered Nursing, Polk Community College (Fla.)
  • A.A. in Liberal Arts, South Florida Community College