The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today selected Dr. Donna Wilson to serve as interim president of Lock Haven University, effective March 30. Wilson, has held the position of provost since 2012, and will assume the role of interim president upon the retirement of Lock Haven University President, Dr. Michael Fiorentino Jr., who has served the university since July 2011.
Wilson will serve as the university’s interim president until the successful conclusion of a national search for Fiorentino’s successor.
“Strong, stable leadership is important during a period of transition,” Cynthia D. Shapira, Board of Governors chairwoman, said. “Dr. Wilson has been an important part of the university’s leadership team since her arrival on campus more than five years ago, and has played a vital role in its past success. We are confident she will continue to provide outstanding leadership during the search for a new, permanent president for Lock Haven University.”
In addition to her role as provost for the last nearly six years, Wilson has served as the university’s executive vice president since 2016. She came to Lock Haven from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where she had been associate provost for academic programs. She also held the positions of dean of undergraduate studies and assistant and associate professor at the college. She previously was a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin and Austin Presbyterian Seminary.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri; a Master’s in Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary in Austin, Texas; and a Ph.D. in classics from the University of Texas at Austin.
“While we all will miss Dr. Fiorentino when he retires in a few months, we are pleased that Lock Haven will have continuity of leadership with Donna Wilson, who already has provided enormous contributions to the university,” Karen M. Whitney, State System interim chancellor, said. “She knows the university and the community, and has the necessary experience to take on this new role and to keep the university moving forward.”
The Board of Governors is responsible for hiring university presidents within the State System. When the need for temporary leadership at a university occurs, the chancellor — in consultation with the chair of the Council of Trustees — makes a recommendation to the Board of Governors, which then meets to ratify the selection. An interim president serves as the university’s chief executive officer, with the same responsibilities and authority as a permanent president.
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Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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