Former Mayor Named University President

By on March 26, 2018

Robert Pignatello
Robert M. Pignatello, who once served as a council member, deputy mayor and mayor of Verona from 1989 to 1991, has been named the next president of Pennsylvania’s Lock Haven University, effective July 1.

“Mr. Pignatello is a seasoned leader with experiences from both inside and outside of higher education,” said Cynthia D. Shapira, chairwoman of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education in a statement on Friday. “His tremendous list of accomplishments throughout his career speaks for itself. We are confident he will provide Lock Haven University outstanding leadership as it continues to advance its mission of serving students, the Lock Haven community and the Commonwealth.”

Pignatello, who was also an administrator in the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in Newark and a legislative assistant in the New Jersey state Senate, has more than 20 years experience as a college senior executive and administrator. He had served as Hunter College’s senior vice president for finance and administration and chief operating officer since February 2016.

Pignatello said he is honored to have been selected to serve as Lock Haven’s next president and looks forward to assuming the role. “Lock Haven is a truly remarkable institution, and we have an exciting future before us,” he said. “Together, we will confront the challenges that lie ahead and convert them into opportunities to even better serve our students and our region.”

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Although Pignatello lived in Verona during his high school years, he attended Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair and graduated from there in 1978. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Montclair State University and a master of public administration from Rutgers University. He expects to complete work this year on a doctor of education degree in higher education leadership and management at Saint Peter’s University in Englewood Cliffs.

“I have many fond memories of growing up and living in Verona,” Pignatello said. “Family time in Verona Park most especially. And, of course, it was an honor and privilege to be on the town council and serve as mayor. When my daughter was born she was very sick and the community was very supportive to us. I will always remember that. It’s a great town.”

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Pignatello will be presented to Lock Haven students, faculty, staff, alumni and others during a welcoming reception to be held at 10 a.m. on April 11 at the University Commons Amphitheater.

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