Penn State's VP overseeing Commonwealth Campuses to retire in 2010

John J. Romano, vice president for Commonwealth Campuses, announced his pending retirement today to give the University ample time to find his replacement. After more than four decades at Penn State, Romano will leave his post to spend time with his family and pursue his personal interests of sailing, traveling, reading and golfing.

"When I arrived in 1968, I had no idea Penn State would become the focus of my professional career. I consider myself a very lucky fellow to have been associated with Penn State for all these years," Romano said. "I will forever be grateful for all that Penn State has done for me and for my family."

As vice president for Commonwealth Campuses, Romano is currently the academic and administrative leader for 19 undergraduate Penn State campuses across the state and is responsible for strategic initiatives and development of the campuses, resource sharing, student recruitment and retention strategies, and promoting curricular integration across the entire University. The 19 campuses under the leadership of the vice president include Penn State Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Erie, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton and York.

"John has had a remarkable career at Penn State. His influence can be seen at all levels and he has had a hand in significant decisions that have contributed to Penn State's overall success," said President Graham Spanier. "John is an exceptional leader, who has afforded stability in times of change, instilled fiscal responsibility and provided forward momentum for our campuses."

Since taking on the vice presidency in 2005 when Penn State's campuses were restructured, Romano has helped to build disciplinary communities among the 19 Commonwealth Campuses and University Park, streamlined the promotion and tenure process, and overseen steady growth in enrollment. Overall enrollment on the 19 campuses has increased by nearly 11 percent over the past four years. Currently, more than 33,500 students are enrolled at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses, the highest in the history of the University.

"John has played a key role in preparing our Commonwealth Campuses for the competitive challenges ahead, and his work has had a direct and far-reaching impact on a major segment of the University," said Rodney Erickson, executive vice president and provost. "Penn State owes a debt of gratitude to John for his 40-plus years of service, which has contributed greatly to Penn State's outstanding reputation."

Romano, who also is a member of President's Council, the University's senior administrative policy body, serves as chairman of the faculty and staff campaign For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.

Prior to his position as vice president, Romano served from 1993 to 2005 as vice provost and dean for enrollment management and administration at Penn State. In this role he provided leadership for the offices of Undergraduate Admissions, Student Aid and the University Registrar. Before being named vice provost, Romano served as campus executive officer from 1985 to 1993 for Penn State York, where he was instrumental in growing enrollment and helping the campus secure funding for a number of new state-of-the-art facilities.

Romano, who joined Penn State in 1968, also has served as a faculty member in the colleges of Education and the Liberal Arts. He also served as assistant and then associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of the Liberal Arts.

He has been active on various University committees over the course of his tenure, including the Academic Leadership Council, University Faculty Senate, Facilities Resources Committee, Facilities Naming Committee and chair of the Council of Campus Chancellors, to name just a few.

The University will undertake an internal search for Romano's replacement. Erickson said he hopes to identify a leader "who can maintain and build on the momentum that John has created."




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Last Updated January 10, 2015