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Larry Moneta, an architect of the college house system and a key player in Penn's dorm and dining overhaul, has been named as a top candidate for an administrative post at Duke University. Moneta, Penn's associate vice president for campus services, was one of nearly 100 applicants originally considered for the position of vice president of student affairs at Duke. The group was recently narrowed down to a short list of three candidates, including Moneta. But Moneta maintains that he is happy at Penn and is not looking to leave anytime soon. "I am exploring," Moneta said, but then added, "I'm not actively looking for jobs." Cynthia Cherrey, assistant vice president of student affairs at the University of Southern California, and Judith Ruderman, Duke's vice provost for academic affairs and administrative services, join Moneta on the short list. The names were made public on Tuesday. Former Vice President for Student Life Janet Dickerson stepped down over a year ago. The position is currently filled by interim vice president Jim Clark. A 12-member search committee of faculty, administrators, students and a Duke trustee was charged last October to find Dickerson's permanent replacement. According to Duke Associate Professor of Zoology Stephen Nowicki, the search committee's co-chair, Moneta's accomplishments at Penn make him a very attractive candidate. "Larry Moneta is an extraordinarily impressive candidate, and the record of achievement he has at Penn is incredible," Nowicki said. Nowicki also said that Moneta was recruited by Duke. "We sought him out," Nowicki said. "We asked him to apply for this. I think it's fair to say that he is not looking to leave Penn. Moneta is extremely highly regarded. It is a credit to the University of Pennsylvania that he is so highly regarded." The three candidates will come to Duke for formal interviews starting tomorrow. The search committee will meet with the three candidates, although the final selection will be made by Duke President Nannerl Keohane. "We will be meeting with the candidates and organizing the input from the community, and giving that all to the president," he said. Moneta has been at the head of several key projects during his time at Penn, including the development of the $380 million dorm and dining renovation plan. And Director of College Houses and Academic Services David Brownlee says that he has worked closely with Moneta on several other large projects at Penn. "I worked with him most closely on the project that created the college houses out of a miscellaneous hodge-podge of the various facilities we have had before," Brownlee said. Brownlee, who said that he was unaware that Moneta was in the running for the position at Duke, praised Moneta and said that it would hurt Penn to lose him. "He's great," Brownlee said. "If he goes, it will be great for Duke, bad for Penn, and I hope he stays." Other administrators, including University President Judith Rodin, declined to comment on the possibility of Moneta leaving. According to Nowicki, the committee has tried to identify candidates who will best represent the interests of administrators, faculty and students. "Here at Duke, we felt that it was important to begin the search process with a fairly lengthy consensus building phase," Nowicki said. Nowicki would not set any specific date for the final selection for the position, noting that Keohane may wish to pursue some matters in more depth before a decision is reached. But he did say that he expects that the decision will be made soon. "We're committed to having a final decision made in time to have this announcement go out by the end of classes," he said.

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