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Two Cal U students hugging during their graduation day.Two Cal U students hugging during their graduation day.

Larmi retires; Thorn steps up

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Posted on January 25, 2010

After a 35-year career that blended finance and higher education, Eric Larmi has announced his retirement, effective Jan. 29.

Larmi, who became Cal U's first comptroller in 1991, had served as Cal U's interim vice president for Administration and Finance since Oct. 31, when longtime vice president Dr. Allan Golden retired.

Larmi's association with the State System of Higher Education began in 1976, when he was an auditor with the state Auditor General's Office. In that role, he assisted in the joint management of the first financial audit of Clarion University with Coopers & Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

He also managed joint audit engagements with audit firms KPMG Peat Marwick and Deloitte & Touche at Edinboro, Clarion, Slippery Rock and Lock Haven universities.

"It has been a pleasure serving the University as interim vice president for Administration and Finance," Larmi said. "It has been an exceptional experience to culminate my career in higher education and state service."

President Angelo Armenti, Jr. announced that Bob Thorn will serve as interim vice president during a national search to fill the position. Thorn, who joined Cal U in 1993 as financial aid director, recently was promoted to associate vice president for Administration and Finance.

"I am deeply appreciative of Eric Larmi's many years of service to the University," said President Armenti. "He is one of many ‘behind-the-scenes' professionals whose meticulous work has helped Cal U to flourish. I wish him well as he enters this new phase of his life."

Licensed in Pennsylvania as a certified public accountant, Larmi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

"California University has grown enormously since my arrival in 1991, and is poised for greater success," he said. "I must acknowledge my many co-workers in Administration and Finance who have aided me in my successful career here. Further, I thank President Armenti for the opportunities he has afforded me, and I wish him and the entire University community continued success."

Thorn is past president of the 700-member Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Under his leadership, the Office of Financial Aid received numerous perfect audits from PHEAA, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

Before coming to Cal U 17 years ago, Thorn served as associate director of financial aid and accounting at Ohio University for nearly seven years. Prior to that, he was director of financial aid at Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the President in this interim capacity until a new vice president is on board," Thorn said. "I also look forward to learning from many capable individuals within our division as I take this interim leadership role."

Thorn's experience and exemplary work history make him ideal to fill the interim position, President Armenti said. "In his long tenure as director of the Office of Financial Aid, Bob Thorn helped thousands of families find workable answers to their financial questions. In this time of transition, the University as a whole will rely on his expertise and his sound advice."

To assist with the transition, Fawn Petrosky and Rosanne Pandrok will serve as interim assistant vice presidents in Administration and Finance. "These two individuals will be extremely valuable in providing leadership and insight to our division," Thorn said.

In addition, Jeff DeRubbo will lead the Financial Aid Office as interim director. He brings many years of leadership to the position, Thorn said, both as associate director of financial aid at Cal U and as director of financial aid at Bethany College, W.Va.