February 04, 2002 11:00 pm

Phil Creighton is a top finalist for the presidency of Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pa.

The president of Eastern Oregon University is one of three finalists for Kutztowns presidency. The state university has an enrollment of about 8,200. Eastern has about 2,000 students.

Creighton visited Kutztown University for an interview last week. Since that time Kutztown Universitys selection committee has narrowed its field of finalists from five to three. Creighton is flying back to Kutztown today for another interview.

Creighton said Monday that he and his wife, Leigh, have not decided to move.

Leigh and I have made no decisions about leaving Eastern. (This weeks interview) is just the next step in the interview process, Creighton said.

Creighton added that he and his wife remain excited and committed to Easterns future.

The two other Kutztown finalists are:

Richard Davenport, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Central Michigan University.

Perry Moore, the provost of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

Two of the five finalists who are no longer under consideration are Cynthia Metzler, who was the former acting secretary of labor in the Clinton Administration, and Stephen Hulbert, chancellor of the University of Montana-Western in Dillon, Mont.

Kutztown University is 90 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The university has colleges for visual and performing arts, business, education, liberal arts and sciences and graduate studies.

Creighton has been EOUs president for about 3 1/2 years. He came to Eastern from Salisbury State University in Maryland where he was provost and vice president of academic affairs. He succeeded David Gilbert, who served as the universitys president for 15 years before retiring.

Kutztown University is searching for a successor to David McFarland, who will retire June 30 after 14 years as president.

From Observer staff reports