Penn State Abington appoints new chancellor

ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA — Penn State Abington has a new chancellor and dean.

Gary Liguori was appointed to the new position effective Monday.

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The former provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of West Florida was selected following a nationwide search.

“I am honored and excited to serve as Penn State Abington’s next chancellor, and I look forward to continuing to expand our college’s commitment to student success and providing a transformative, high-impact education. It is a wonderfully active and exciting campus with all the resources of a world-class research university. I also welcome the opportunity to uphold Penn State’s land-grant mission and ensure that our campus provides education and resources for our entire community,” Liguori said.

Liguori will succeed Interim Chancellor Andrew August, who assumed the position in October 2023 when previous Chancellor Margo DelliCarpini was named Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Acting Chancellor of Penn State.

“I could not be more pleased to have Dr. Liguori take the helm at Penn State Abington,” said DelliCarpini. “His background as a professor, researcher and administrator gives him unique insights that will help this campus continue to reach its potential under the new sustainable budget and academic framework we are working toward at Penn State. He has a proven track record of developing new academic programs, finding research opportunities and leveraging the strengths of each campus he has worked for. Dr. Liguori will serve Penn State Abington well.”

Liguori has a 30-year track record in education, research and community service and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility and leadership.

He oversaw 14,000 students and 250 faculty members, a $95 million budget, and $8 million in annually funded research at the University of West Florida, where he was also a professor of exercise science and health. Previously, he served for seven years as founding dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

During his tenure, he successfully expanded academic programs, faculty research, and university-affiliated health clinics, creating a thriving multidisciplinary university.

Previous roles include chair of the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and adjunct professor at North Dakota State University. Liguori’s research and educational interests include health, physical activity, and wellness.

He is the author of more than 55 peer-reviewed articles and five books and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves on numerous boards and national organizations, including the Board of the American Association on Health and Disability.

Liguori earned his doctorate in wellness and human development from North Dakota State University, a master’s degree in cardiac rehabilitation/exercise science from East Stroudsburg University, and a bachelor of science in fitness/wellness from the University of Central Missouri.

As chancellor of Penn State Abington, Liguori will be responsible for the quality of academic programs in the areas of teaching, research and service, strategic planning, budgeting, philanthropy, faculty and staff development, public relations, and community and alumni relations.

Located five miles north of Philadelphia, Abington is a residential campus with more than 3,000 students and nearly 300 full-time faculty and staff. Students can pursue 27 associate and bachelor’s degrees and six accelerated master’s programs at Abington or complete one of Penn State’s 275 programs at another campus.

The college also has an undergraduate research program, the Schreyer Honors College, and 14 NCAA Division III athletics teams.

Abington is one of Penn State’s most diverse campuses, with more than 50 percent of students reporting they are from underrepresented groups, more than 40 percent being first-time students in their family, and 25 percent being adult learners.