– The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today selected Donna Wilson to serve as interim president of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, effective March 30. Dr. Wilson, who has served as the university’s provost since 2012, will assume the role of interim president upon the retirement of Michael Fiorentino Jr., who has been Lock Haven’s president since July 2011.
Dr. Wilson will serve as the university’s interim president until the successful conclusion of a national search for Dr. Fiorentino’s successor.
“Strong, stable leadership is important during a period of transition,” said Board of Governors Chairwoman Cynthia D. Shapira. “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.”
“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,” said State System Interim Chancellor Karen M. Whitney. “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.”
In addition to serving as provost for the last nearly six years, Dr. 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, Mo.; 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.
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.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.