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LHU News

LHU trustees announce recommendation to advance 2 presidential candidates to Board of Governors

Brian DePoy Robert Pignatello
Dr. Bryan DePoy Mr. Robert Pignatello

The work of the Lock Haven University Presidential Search Committee has concluded. The LHU Council of Trustees unanimously endorsed the committee’s recommendation to forward Dr. Bryan DePoy and Robert Pignatello to the Board of Governors for consideration as LHU’s 15th president.    

Both candidates will continue the interview process with the Board of Governors and office of the chancellor in Harrisburg on March 14, with a final selection to occur by the end of the month.

Current president, Dr. Michael Fiorentino Jr., will retire March 30 and Dr. Donna Wilson, provost and executive vice president, will serve as interim president until the new president takes office this summer.

The committee, chaired by Trustee Guy Graham, consisted of voting members George Durrwachter, Cindy Allen, Mark Cloud, Trevor Dietz, Daniel Elby, Matt Girton, Lynn Gray, Rich Heimer, Deana Hill, Jill Mitchley, Nicole Rall-Miller, and Ed Wright, representing the many constituent groups of the university. Resource members included Dr. Michael Driscoll, Indiana University of Pennsylvania president; state Rep. Mike Hanna, Board of Governors member; and Peter Garland and Lois Johnson of the PASSHE Chancellor’s Office. The committee was assisted by Richard Allen and Dana Cohick of RPA Inc., an executive search and consulting firm.  

“I am extremely thankful for the hard work and dedication of our committee that worked as a cohesive team in reviewing a strong pool of candidates on an accelerated schedule,” Graham said. “The four candidates brought to campus last week were uniquely qualified for the position with their individual skillsets and experience. I am very pleased with the selection of Bryan DePoy and Robert Pignatello and am confident that either of them will be able to provide the leadership needed to continue the legacy of excellence at Lock Haven University.”

DePoy is the vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer at Lake Erie College, Painesville Ohio, where he has served for three years. During that time, he also held the position of interim president. He also held the positions of the dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication as well as interim dean of graduate studies and associate provost for research at Youngstown State University; interim dean and assistant dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University.

He has a Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, a master of Music degree from the University of New Mexico, and a bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University School of Music.

Pignatello has been the senior vice president for finance and administration and chief operating officer at Hunter College, The City University of New York (CUNY), for two years. Prior to Hunter, he served as senior vice president for finance and administration and the chief operating officer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, for 10 years. He has also held positions as vice president for administration and finance and vice president for administrative affairs at John Jay, where he was employed for a total of 18 years.

He holds a Master of Public Administration from Rutgers University Graduate School and a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Montclair State University. He is a candidate for Doctor of Education – higher education leadership and management at St. Peter’s University, which he is expected to complete this year.

“I was genuinely impressed how the campus came together – students, employees, and alumni – to review the credentials of the candidates, attend meetings, and provide their respective feedback for the committee to consider throughout the entire process,” Durrwachter, Council of Trustees chair, said. “The Haven family will continue to thrive as this next chapter in our history unfolds with a new president.”

For more information on Lock Haven University, visit, email, or call 570-484-2011.

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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