Corbett boots Cal U trustees leader Irey

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Eight months after the firing of California University of Pennsylvania's president, a leadership change is under way on the school's council of trustees.

Gov. Tom Corbett has turned down a request from the council's chairman, Robert Irey, for another six-year term on the council. Instead, the governor's press office said Mr. Corbett has nominated Tom Uram as a replacement.

Mr. Irey, a Cal U trustee since 2002 and the chairman since 2011, said Wednesday he was not given a reason. He wrote the governor in early fall seeking reappointment.

Mr. Irey said he is "a little bit disappointed" but must accept the decision.

"I was honored to have had the opportunity to serve. Did I have more to contribute? Sure. But as I view it -- time to move on," he said.

Mr. Irey was among the trustees who took issue with the firing in May of Angelo Armenti Jr. for reasons the State System of Higher Education has not explained, a day before it released an auditor's report that questioned certain Cal U financial practices. Mr. Armenti, Cal U president for two decades, contends he was wrongly fired and is suing State System officials and a campus faculty union leader.

Asked if he believed the decision not to reappoint him was related to his support of Mr. Armenti, Mr. Irey replied: "Anyone can speculate, but I'm not going to speculate on it."

He wished Mr. Uram luck and said he will do well as a board member. Mr. Irey, whose term ran through December, said he remains chairman until Mr. Uram's nomination is confirmed.

Mr. Uram, a former East Washington Borough council member, has worked at Metlife for 29 years, focusing on estate planning and charitable giving, according to the governor's office. Mr. Uram is involved in community endeavors including the Rotary, the Washington County Industrial Development Authority, the Washington County Community Foundation and Washington Hospital Foundation, among others.

Cal U spokeswoman Christine Kindl said board elections are expected at the June meeting. She said under the board's bylaws Lawrence Maggi, vice chair, would serve as chairman if needed.

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Bill Schackner: bschackner@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1977.


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