Fired Cal U president reaches settlement with state higher ed system
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A court hearing scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled, as fired California University of Pennsylvania President Angelo Armenti Jr. has reached a settlement with the state System of Higher Education.
Steven Toprani, the former Washington County district attorney who is representing Mr. Armenti, said this morning his client had reached an agreement with the State System that would allow him more time to retrieve his personal belongings from his executive office and to vacate the presidential residence that he's lived in for 20 years.
"The president is being afforded the opportunity to take whatever is his," said Mr. Toprani, who earlier this week asked a judge to grant a preliminary injunction after Mr. Armenti said he wasn't being given enough time to clear out his belongings from the office.
Mr. Armenti said he was boxing up belongings in his office about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when an administrator handed him an email from State System headquarters in Harrisburg ordering him out by the close of business and barring him from any non-public parts of the campus.
The executive offices and 4,000-square-foot presidential apartment are located in the same complex called Old Main, a large administration building on campus.
Common Pleas Court Judge Katherine Emery granted part of the motion, ordering Mr. Armenti's office to be sealed until she could hear arguments at this afternoon's hearing.
But, Mr. Toprani said Mr. Armenti and the State System came to an agreement this morning that allowed the former president to enter his office at 9 a.m. to continue packing.
While not commenting on the specifics of the settlement, Mr. Toprani said it would give Mr. Armenti until the beginning of June to finish packing his office.
Though his client has 60 days to vacate the presidential residence, Mr. Armenti is anxious to leave the campus, Mr. Toprani said, and likely will move back to his home in Valley Forge by the beginning of June.
"He's ready to move on," Mr. Toprani said.
Today, Guido Pichini, chairman of the State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, sent an open letter to the CalU community thanking them for their commitment and support of the university.
"I want to assure everyone in the California University of Pennsylvania family that you have my full support, as well as that of the entire board, as we jointly strive to put into place a smooth transition of leadership at CalU," he wrote.
"Students, please know that your interests always come first in every decision we make and every action we take."
He also told campus staff, faculty and administration that their "dedication to the university is truly appreciated" and urged alumni to "please stay connected to your university."
He assured the university's business and civic partners that CalU "will continue to play a strong and vibrant role in the region and will continue to need and value its relationships with you."
First Published May 25, 2012 10:47 am