Nordenberg named chancellor emeritus
Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg received the title chancellor emeritus and was honored by Pitt’s Board of Trustees with a resolution of appreciation and a video celebrating his life and accomplishments (www.chancellor.pitt.edu/news/trustees-honor-chancellor-nordenberg-outstanding-leadership-exceptional-contributions).
In his final report to the board as chancellor, Nordenberg, who will become chancellor emeritus upon his retirement on Aug. 1, recognized members of his staff and leadership team at the June 20 board meeting.
“I’m deeply grateful to these outstanding people for all that they have contributed to Pitt’s progress. I get a lot of the credit that should go to them,” he said. “I’m also indebted to the members of the Board of Trustees. First you gave me the opportunity to be chancellor and then you worked as hard as you could to make certain that I would succeed,” Nordenberg said.
“Though I did not come remotely close to doing the job perfectly, this really has been a perfect job for me in terms of my interests, in terms of my loves and in terms of my skill set. And even on the worst of days I have recognized how lucky I have been to have this opportunity. I never have taken your support and encouragement for granted. We have been through a lot together and we have both the smiles and the scars to prove it.”
Nordenberg presented board chairperson Stephen R. Tritch with a chancellor’s medal “in recognition of your University of Pittsburgh roots, your extraordinary professional successes and the distinctive contributions you have made as chair through what has been a very challenging time — bomb threats, budget cuts and other things — for the University of Pittsburgh.
“I also present this medal to you as a tangible sign of my broader respect and gratitude to the entire board and also to the three outstanding individuals who preceded you as chair during my 19 years as chancellor,” Nordenberg said. “I’m grateful to you for what you’ve done for the University and for the central role you have played in my own academic life.”
Nordenberg closed by reading contrasting observations, the first excerpted from the external review commissioned in 1995 by the Board of Trustees:
“‘There is something missing when one walks around the campus. Call it pride, tradition or institutional loyalty.’”
Then from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s 2012 reaccreditation report:
“‘There is a justified, though given our cynical times, still remarkable, sense of pride in every sector of the University community. From faculty, even faculty in units that have not been favored with major investments of resources, to students, many of whom have done both undergraduate and graduate studies at the University because, as they have stated, of their love for the school.
“There seems to be an ethos of appreciation which evokes humility in those of us who come to observe it.’”
Nordenberg said, “In an institution that is so heavily dependent on people — and not just upon the talent of people, but upon the attitudes and the feelings and the drive of people — that is the change that we have helped effect together that should make us most proud. And I do thank you for letting me be part of it.”
Members of the Board of Trustees read aloud a resolution of appreciation in honor of Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and bestowed on him the title of chancellor emeritus, effective Aug. 1, as part of his final board meeting as chancellor. The board’s June 20 resolution was presented to the chancellor as “a symbol of gratitude for the leadership that he has provided and the high regard in which he is held by his many friends and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh.” The resolution can be viewed at www.utimes.pitt.edu/documents/nordenbergResolution.pdf.
In other board business:
The incoming freshman class — drawn from a pool of 30,600 applicants — boasts an average SAT score of 1298 (out of 1600). The number of applicants, Nordenberg said, represents a huge increase beyond the 7,825 who applied in 1995 and an increase of 3,000 applications over last year.
In addition, he said, “We are having a very strong admissions year on all four of our regional campuses. That’s in sharp contrast to the struggles that are facing many other institutions with campuses in western Pennsylvania.”
Capital project additions approved
On recommendation of the board’s budget committee, trustees approved $15 million in additional capital budget funding for four Pittsburgh campus projects:
• An additional $12 million for Clapp Hall renovation and infrastructure. Trustees previously approved $22 million for the project, which will renovate nearly 90,000 square feet of space for biological sciences. (See March 6 University Times.)
Half of the additional money will come from commonwealth funding and half from Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences reserves, said Arthur G. Ramicone, chief financial officer, who outlined the funding requests at the budget committee’s June 19 meeting.
• An additional $2.07 million for the installation of a helium recovery system in the mid-campus complex. Trustees previously approved more than $1.8 million for the project, which also includes construction of a 1,000-square-foot machine shop. Funding will come from Dietrich school reserves.
• An additional $500,000 for laboratory renovations on the 13th floor of Chevron Science Center. Trustees previously approved $5 million for the project, which will create new synthetic organic chemistry and chemical molecular biology research labs for two new faculty research teams. The additional funding will come from Dietrich school reserves.
• An additional $440,000 for Cathedral of Learning elevator upgrades. Trustees previously approved $10 million for the project, which is expected to create a faster and more energy-efficient, destination-based elevator system. Funding for the project comes from commonwealth and plant funds.
Fee increases approved
On recommendation of the student affairs committee, the board approved four fee increases, to take effect in the fall term:
• An increase in the student wellness fee to $105 per semester for full-time students (up from $85). The fee supports Student Health Service, the University Counseling Center and the Office of Intramurals and Recreation.
• An increase in the graduate and professional student activities fee to $30 per semester for full-time students (up from $10) and $15 per semester for part-time students (from $5). The fees support graduate and professional school governance organizations and the Graduate and Professional Student Government.
• An increase in student recreation fees at Pitt-Titusville. Fees for full-time students will rise to $100 per term in fall and spring terms (from $80), and to $20 per term (from $15) for part-time students. The fee covers expenses including intramural sports, fitness center equipment, recreation room upkeep and off-site leisure trips.
• An increase in student activities fees at UPT to $90 per term for full-time students (up from $75) and $15 per term for part-time students (up from $10). The fees cover sponsorship of student organizations and expenses for student activities programming.
Board officers, members elected
Board chairperson Stephen R. Tritch and vice chair Morgan K. O’Brien were re-elected; board member Eva Tansky Blum was voted chairperson-elect.
Tritch initially was elected chairperson in 2009. The board’s bylaws permit a chairperson five consecutive one-year terms, but allow, in special circumstances, up to three additional subsequent one-year terms.
Tritch was elected to serve one more term to aid in the transition to a new chancellor.
Blum will become chairperson upon completion of Tritch’s term in June 2015. She will be Pitt’s first female board chairperson.
On recommendation of the nominating committee, the trustees approved Jane Bilewicz Allred (A&S ’71) and James P. Covert (A&S ’91) as new board members.
Allred, the retired president of Allred Marketing, is the immediate past-president of the Pitt Alumni Association. She is a community representative to the Board of Trustees’ institutional advancement committee and a member of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences board of visitors.
She is a recipient of Pitt’s 225th Anniversary Medallion and recently received a distinguished alumni award from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
She established the Allred Endowed Writing Fund, which supports the University of Pittsburgh Writing Center in promoting writing throughout the curriculum.
Covert, who has more than two decades of experience in health care sales, marketing and acquisition, has been president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Transfusion Medicine since 2007.
He is vice chair of the National Blood Foundation and is a director on the boards of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, The Blood Science Foundation, The Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania, Creative Testing Solutions, Hospice Compassus and The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins.
Covert lettered in football at Pitt and played for the Chicago Bears, 1983-90.
Re-elected to the board were:
Mary Ellen Callahan (A&S ’90), Robert M. Hernandez (A&S ’66), Terrence P. Laughlin (BUS ’81G), F. James McCarl (CGS ’73), Keith E. Schaefer (A&S ’71), William E. Strickland, Jr. (A&S ’70), John A. Swanson (ENGR ’66G), and Sam S. Zacharias (A&S ’64).
In addition, Jack D. Smith was re-elected to the board of the University of Pittsburgh Trust for the 2014-18 term. He is chair of the Excela Health System orthopedics department.
Elected to serve as University directors on the UPMC board of directors for the 2014-17 term were Hernandez and Blum. Nordenberg was elected to the UPMC board, effective Aug. 1, for the term ending in 2016.
Tritch noted that state representative John A. Maher III (R-40) has been reappointed by the House of Representatives as a commonwealth trustee.
—Kimberly K. Barlow