To our PennWest campus community,

The Board of Governors for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today selected Lorraine “Laurie” Bernotsky to serve as interim president of Pennsylvania Western University, starting July 1, 2023.  

“Dr. Laurie Bernotsky has a long and distinguished history with the State System and is well prepared to serve as interim president of the university,” Board of Governors Chair Cindy Shapira said. “She has been working with Dr. Pehrsson since last fall to ensure a smooth transition for PennWest. Dr. Bernotsky is passionate about providing a high-quality education for PennWest students, and we are confident that she will make their experience a top priority.”

Bernotsky has been serving as PennWest’s chief operating officer since 2022 as a loaned executive from West Chester University.

“I am deeply committed to the mission of the State System of Higher Education and to the mission and success of PennWest. In the short time I’ve been at PennWest, I have been inspired by the passion and dedication of its community of educators, the faculty, staff and trustees who are so committed to student success,” Bernotsky said during the Board of Governors meeting. “We have a lot of work in front of us, and I’m looking forward to collaborating across PennWest’s three campuses to ensure the success of our students.”

Bernotsky earned a master’s degree and doctor of philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree in sociology from Temple University.

She joined PASSHE in 1996 as a faculty member at West Chester University. She went on to serve as associate provost and dean of graduate studies at West Chester, where she was named provost in 2015 and then executive vice president in 2017.

As previously announced, Dr. Dale will transfer presidential authority on March 1 to ensure a smooth transition, in which Dr. Bernotsky will be acting president.