John Bonaguro has been hired as founding dean of the College of Health Professions at Slippery Rock (Pa.) University.

Bonaguro was founding dean of Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services in 2003. He served as dean and professor of public health at WKU before retiring in 2016. He took an interim placement from 2016-17 at Housatonic Community College as associate dean of continuing and professional education.

While at WKU, Bonaguro helped create the Academic Center for Excellence, a college-based student success center that focuses on developmental career advising and retention. He also advanced graduate education at WKU by implementing two doctoral programs in nursing and physical therapy, and he helped raise millions of dollars in major gifts for scholarships and infrastructure.

Bonaguro was associate dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance at Ithaca College in New York, where he worked from 1993-2003. After getting his start as a public school teacher in Chicago in the 1970s, Bonaguro was a professor of health and sport science at Ohio University.

Bonaguro and his wife, Ellen, who is also retired after a career in higher education, live in Bowling Green. They plan to relocate to the Slippery Rock area.