Gary Liguori named chancellor at Penn State Abington

Gary Liquori standing in front of a building

Gary Liguori will assume the role of chancellor and dean at Penn State Abington effective July 1, 2024. 

Credit: Patrick Luce, University of Rhode Island

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Gary Liguori has been named chancellor and dean of Penn State Abington, effective July 1. Liguori, former provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of West Florida, was selected following a national search.

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

Liguori will succeed Interim Chancellor Andrew August, who stepped into the role in October 2023 when previous Chancellor Margo DelliCarpini was named vice president for Commonwealth Campuses and executive chancellor at Penn State.

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

Liguori brings a 30-year record of success in education, research and community outreach and has held a series of positions with increasing responsibility and leadership.

He oversaw 14,000 students and 250 faculty as well as a $95 million budget and $8 million in annual sponsored research at the University of West Florida, where he was also a professor of movement sciences and health. Before that position, he served as the founding dean of the University of Rhode Island College of Health Sciences for seven years. During his tenure, he successfully expanded academic programs, faculty research, and university-affiliated health clinics, creating a thriving multidisciplinary college.

He was previously the head of the Health and Human Performance Department at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and an associate professor at North Dakota State University, among other teaching positions. Liguori’s research and educational interests include health, physical activity and wellness. He has authored more than 55 peer-reviewed articles and five books, and he serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals.

He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and serves on numerous boards and national organizations including on the board of directors 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 degree 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 teaching, research, and service; strategic planning; budgeting; philanthropy; faculty and staff development; outreach; and community and alumni relations.

Located five miles north of Philadelphia, Abington is a residential campus with more than 3,000 students and almost 300 full-time faculty and staff. Students can pursue 27 associate and bachelor’s degrees and six accelerated master’s degree programs at Abington or complete any of Penn State’s 275 programs at another campus. The college also boasts 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% of students identifying as being from underrepresented groups, more than 40% as first-generation college students, and 25% as adult learners.