David Chown
David Chown (Submitted)

David W. Chown, chief academic officer and senior vice president for the residential university of Upper Iowa University, has been named the new chancellor at Penn State York, effective Feb. 15.

Chown will become Penn State York's fourth chancellor in four years. He replaces John J. Romano, Penn State's former vice president for Commonwealth campuses and former CEO at Penn State York, who came out of retirement a year ago to lead the campus until a new chancellor was found.

Romano had taken over after the unexpected departure of Lisa Ann Plowfield, who resigned after just a year; Plowfield had been chosen as the successor for Joel Rodney.

Jennifer Nesbitt, a faculty member and head of the search committee, said Chown "is a person who can move us forward," noting the challenges higher education and Penn State in particular have faced in recent years.

His background at Upper Iowa, which has 25 locations and 7,000 students, seemed to fit well with Penn State's situation, she said.

"He's really well suited to both representing us out in the York Community and internally as our representative at the main campus," she said, adding Chown has a "great manner" and presence.

Chown has served as chief academic officer at Upper Iowa since 2009. He has a background as a dean of the School of Business for two different colleges as well.

"The faculty, staff, students and community members were genuinely welcoming and open on our visit, which made the decision easy," he said in a release.