VP a finalist for head of student life at Penn State

Geneseo administration officials may soon be faced with the challenge of appointing a new vice president for student and campus life.

According to Pennsylvania State University's student newspaper, The Daily Collegian, Dr. Robert Bonfiglio - Geneseo's current vice president for student and campus life - is one of three finalists considered for the position of vice president of student affairs at the university.

Several weeks ago, Bonfiglio learned he was nominated for the position and visited the Penn State campus for the first of a series of interviews on March 17.

"I am not actively involved in a job search, but rare opportunities like these warrant further exploration," Bonfiglio said in an e-mail on Tuesday.

According to President Christopher Dahl, there are currently no plans to begin a search for a new vice president of student and campus life if Bonfiglio does, in fact, receive and accept the position at Penn State - conditions which Dahl called "completely hypothetical."

"Being recruited for a vice president position at a big, national university is a tribute to [Bonfiglio's] professional excellence and is a real compliment to the college," Dahl said. "I am very proud and I have no desire for him to leave, but this is a great compliment to him. From a professional standpoint, it is definitely a possibility worth looking at."

On March 25, Penn State Associate to the President for Administration Tom Poole announced Bonfiglio's opponents - Brian Hemphill, vice president for student affairs at Northern Illinois University, and Damon Sims, associate vice provost for student affairs at Bloomington (Indiana University).

The three men have been selected as finalists from a pool of 60 applicants. Penn State began the search process in November 2007 after Vickey Triponey resigned from the position on Sept. 13, according to an article published by the Daily Collegian.

Bonfiglio has a doctorate of education from Teachers College at Columbia University. Among other accomplishments, he was the recipient of the 2005 College Student Personnel Association's Distinguished Service to Higher Education Award for his influential role in founding the New York Campus Compact: an association of university and college presidents and their campuses dedicated to encouraging active citizenship as part of higher education.

Penn State President Graham Spanier is expected to endorse a candidate before the Penn State Board of Trustees reaches a final decision during its May 16 meeting.