Leonard Colelli, a long-time educator with experience at all levels of academia, has been named campus provost of Potomac State College of West Virginia University.
Colelli, who earned a doctorate from The Ohio State University, a master’s from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s of science from California University of Pennsylvania, will assume leadership of the Keyser campus on July 1.
Potomac State, a residential two-year college with an enrollment of 1,800, is a division of West Virginia University. The campus provost serves as the chief executive officer of the College, reporting to WVU President Jim Clements through the provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“Dr. Colelli brings a tremendous amount of administrative experience to Potomac State,” Provost Michele Wheatly said Tuesday (May 1) in announcing the appointment. “He has also worked in the region and in the state for many years, so he is familiar with the needs of our student population.”
“At his previous institution, Dr. Colelli made great strides in securing the accreditation of a wide range of academic and professional programs,” Wheatly said. “His understanding of the importance of accreditation will be a significant strength as he undertakes the academic leadership of Potomac State.”
Colelli is currently dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology at Cal U in California, Pa., a position he has held since January 2000.
“I add my congratulations and welcome Dr. Colelli to the Mountaineer family,” Clements said. “The faculty, students and staff at Potomac State have a lot to be proud of, and we look forward to the continued momentum of that campus.”
Colelli has more than 30 years of teaching and managerial experience at the secondary, community college and comprehensive baccalaureate/masters degree levels. As dean at CalU, he currently supervises more than 90 full-time faculty and more than 2,500 undergraduate students in eight academic departments with more than 30 associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree programs.
“It is an honor and a privilege to accept the campus provost position at Potomac State College-WVU,” said Colelli, who has been active in faculty evaluation, program level accreditation, curriculum development, learning facility renovations, workforce training/development, and efforts to secure outside funding.
“The campus is located in a beautiful picturesque setting and those who I have met during the interview process were very sincere and focused on providing the best learning environment for the students. In my opinion, this is an ideal position aligned with my interests and abilities. My family and I are very excited about this opportunity and plan to become deeply involved in campus and community culture at Potomac State.
Colelli has managed an eclectic combination of academic programs in science, engineering technology, aviation technology, consumer sciences, mathematics, education, business and nursing.
Faculty in the Eberly college have also been involved in a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education-funded Entrepreneurial Leadership/Student Incubation project and a multi-million dollar agile robotics curriculum and workforce development contract with the Department of Defense.
Early in his career, Colelli taught public school and coached track/cross-county in Ohio and later he was a department chair and tenured professor of the School of Technology at Fairmont State University.
He succeeds Campus Provost Kerry Odell, who served as interim president of the College from 2003-2005, and led the transition to a fully integrated division of WVU. Following a national search, he was selected the College’s first campus provost and began serving in that role in July 2005.
Under his leadership, enrollment and contributions increased and some $25 million in capital improvements were made.
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