Trustees approve committee to search for new academic leader

EDINBORO — Pennsylvania Western University is beginning its search for a new president.

University trustees on Monday approved the creation of a committee to lead the search for a president to succeed Lorraine Bernotsky, who served as PennWest’s interim president for the past year. Bernotsky will take office as president of West Chester University on July 1.

The 25-member presidential search committee is larger than standard search committees in the Penn State system of higher education. Indeed, university administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni and unions each named three members to the committee to represent the university’s Edinboro, Clarion and California campuses.

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The former universities of Edinboro, Clarion and California were consolidated under the name Pennsylvania Western University in July 2022.

“A waiver from the Chancellor’s Office (PASSHE) allows us to expand our search committee to reach all three campuses and ensure all voices are heard and considered,” said Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Pape from PennWest. Pape is one of five trustees representing the Edinboro campus on the 15-member board of trustees.

“We’re really taking a path that no one has ever taken before,” said search committee chairman Larry Maggi, who represents the California campus on PennWest’s board of trustees. “It’s something new, something different: choosing a president for three (campuses) and districts.”

The search committee will work with consultants from Florida-based Greenwood Asher & Associates to select candidates and submit the names of two finalists to the PASSHE Board of Governors and Chancellor Dan Greenstein. The Board of Governors will appoint the new president.

There is no timetable for the research yet.

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Representing the Edinboro campus on the presidential search committee…

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