A North Dakota educator with broad academic experience nationally and internationally was named the president of West Chester University yesterday by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Greg R. Weisenstein, 61, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of North Dakota, will become the university's 14th president.

"Dr. Weisenstein emerged from a rich pool of candidates," said Thomas A. Fillippo, chairman of the university's Council of Trustees. "He has a broad, strong foundation in education and a font of experience that will help him take the university to the next level. We liked his enthusiasm and what he brings to the table."

Weisenstein's predecessor, Madeleine Wing Adler, retired in June after serving as president for nearly 16 years. Under her leadership, the university's national reputation for excellence bloomed, Fillippo said.

"What she achieved at the university is remarkable," he said. "She has established an organization that will enhance whoever takes the job."

Weisenstein agreed, saying the 13,600-student university is poised to move forward.

"It's got some great programs, good solid faculty and excellent leadership," he said. "There are opportunities for initiatives that will involve the community and the campus." But he said it is too soon to discuss specifics.

Weisenstein holds bachelor's degrees in geology and U.S. history and a master's degree in special education from the University of Washington, and a doctoral degree in administration and special education from the University of Kansas.

He is author or coauthor of four books, more than 80 articles, and 150 major presentations on scientific and management topics.

Before going to the 12,500-student UND in Grand Forks, he served as dean of the College of Education at Montana State University, dean of the School of Education at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and associate dean of research at Clemson University.

In addition to serving on advisory committees under four U.S. presidents, Weisenstein is an experienced international negotiator working in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. He is chairman of the World Bank Education Task Force for the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

Contact staff writer Nancy Petersen at 610-696-4932 or npetersen@phillynews.com.