In January 2017, the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education named Christopher M. Fiorentino as the 15th president of West Chester University. His roots at the institution are broad and deep; he began teaching at WCU in 1983, while working on his doctoral degree in economics. Dr. Fiorentino started as an assistant professor and rose to become the dean of the College of Business and Public Affairs (now the College of Business and Public Management), a position he held for more than 20 years. In 2013, he became the vice president for External Operations and in April 2016 was chosen to serve as the University's interim president.
As vice president for External Operations, Dr. Fiorentino helped WCU fulfill its mission to serve local communities and the Commonwealth as a source of knowledge and skill development, a research center, and a service provider. His responsibilities included University operations at the State System's Center City Philadelphia site. Under Dr. Fiorentino's leadership, enrollment in WCU programs in Philadelphia increased more than 80 percent from 2014 to 2015. External Operations also encompasses distance education, which makes a WCU education available to traditional and nontraditional students throughout Pennsylvania as well as worldwide. There are currently more than 8,000 seats in distance education, a 455% increase in capacity from three years ago.
Dr. Fiorentino has been active in numerous leadership roles on campus, helping to secure AACSB accreditation for the School of Business; developing off-campus academic centers, including the Graduate Center in West Goshen Township; and working with faculty and supporters to create the Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center. Dr. Fiorentino also spearheaded the development of the Center for Community Solutions, which links business and civic leaders who have research needs with University faculty and staff who can address those needs.
Dr. Fiorentino is married to WCU alumna and assistant professor Susan Fiorentino, '86. The Fiorentinos have three children: Greg, a software engineer and WCU alum; Diana, a WCU grad and registered dietitian; and Jeff, a senior finance major at Penn State. The Fiorentinos also have two grandchildren. In their spare time, the Fiorentinos enjoy running together. In 2016, they participated in the Alumni Association's 2nd Annual Ram Run 5K, and they look forward to meeting fellow Golden Ram runners and walkers at 2017 5Ks.