The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors announced on Friday, January 27, that Dr. Charles Curry, vice president for administration and finance at Slippery Rock University, will serve as acting president for the university until a new president is elected.
Curry joined the university in 1986 as the assistant vice president of finance, and served in that position for 18 months until being promoted to his current position.
As vice president of finance, Curry oversees the university’s $156 million budget, as well as the departments of Accounting, Facilities and Planning, Purchasing, Contracts, and Human Resources. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Curry says that his work ethic, tenacity, and faith in God were instilled in him early on by his hardworking parents.
“I was very fortunate growing up to have had strong parents and mentors who knew the importance of education and made sure I stayed the course,” he said.
Although Curry lettered in basketball in high school, his coach told him to “study son, study,” upon evaluating his size and speed as an athlete. Curry did just that. Following high school, Curry attended a community college, majored in business, and later transferred to LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, to complete his degree. He graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
After earning his B.S. degree, Curry went on to work for the public accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, and Mitchell for two years. He then accepted the position of Senior Internal Auditor at Syracuse University, where he earned his master’s degree in Business Administration and was promoted to Assistant Director of Student Data Systems.
In 1979, Curry left Syracuse University and became the Director of Business Services at Onondaga Community College, where he also served as a senior adjunct faculty member teaching managerial and financial accounting. In 1981, Curry accepted a position at Cornell University in New York, where he served for five years as the assistant director of accounting before coming to Slippery Rock University. He earned his Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998.
Curry is a former trustee of LeMoyne College and a member of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers. He is an avid sports fan, especially baseball, and loves all things jazz. Curry and his wife Jean live in Slippery Rock, and have two grown children.
Curry said he was flattered by his appointment as interim president.
“I was honored to have been chosen to serve the institution as acting president,” he said. “I believe that we have an outstanding university, which is one of the top regional universities.”
“We have won several awards for our efforts, which I believe makes us stand out from other institutions,” Curry said. “I truly am honored to be a part of this university.”
According to Curry, he still has his responsibilities for directing the operations of finance and administration, as does Dr. William Williams for Academic Affairs, Dr. Constance Foley for Student Life, Ms. Barbara Ender for Advancement, and Ms. Rita Abent for public affairs and communications.
“We’ll all contribute as needed to cover presidential public engagement commitments during the transition to a new president,” Curry said. “My main role as acting president will be one of handling the administrative actions required of the president, such as signing contracts and serving as the liaison to the chancellor.”
Curry feels that he has a lot to bring to the university, and hopes to fill the position well.
“I feel that I’m a very caring person that understands the importance of education, and I feel that it’s a good opportunity for students to come to this university to learn, develop, and grow,” he said.