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August 29, 2013

Firm hired to aid in chancellor search

A chancellor search web site for candidates is being developed, forums for campus community input are planned and a search firm has been named as Pitt trustees move forward in finding a successor to Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, who has announced he will retire next year.

Concurrently, the University Senate has opened balloting to select five faculty representatives to the chancellor search committee. (See related story, this issue.)

In an Aug. 27 University Update (, Board of Trustees chairperson Stephen Tritch stated: “The primary challenge facing us lies in attracting and electing a successor who can maintain the University’s positive momentum and build upon the tremendous progress that the University has achieved under Chancellor Nordenberg’s leadership,” adding that there is a limited pool of capable individuals and that 13 other major universities are searching for top leaders.

“Given that environment, the board recognizes the need to move quickly in our search process, so that we are well-positioned to recruit the top quality candidates that the University deserves,” Tritch stated.

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, which specializes in executive searches for colleges and universities, will assist in the Pitt search, Tritch announced. The firm has offices in Media, Pa., and in California.

A web site is being developed to provide information to candidates as well as to showcase the University’s “many outstanding elements,” Tritch stated. He did not say when the site would be accessible.

Forums for soliciting faculty, staff and student input on the chancellor search are to be held in late September and early October on the Pittsburgh campus as well as on regional campuses.

The schedule for those sessions has not been announced.

Search committee leaders were appointed at the June 28 board meeting during which Nordenberg announced he would step down Aug. 1, 2014 (see July 11 University Times), but the full composition of the committee has not been announced, nor has a complete timetable for its work been disclosed.

Board of Trustees vice chairperson Eva Blum chairs the search committee. Provost emeritus James V. Maher is vice chair and B. Jean Ferketish, secretary of the Board of Trustees, is the committee’s secretary.

Trustees have leeway in constituting a search committee. The 1995 chancellor search committee that formed after the resignation of J. Dennis O’Connor was made up of nine trustees, seven faculty members, three deans, one SAC representative, one UPMC representative and three students. (See June 22, 1995, University Times.)

Tritch, in his update, stated: “While the ultimate responsibility lies with the Board of Trustees, I and my colleagues on the board are pleased that we will have a broad-based search committee that can assist in this task by providing helpful insights from all sectors of the University community — faculty, staff, students and alumni.”

University Senate President Michael Spring said Tritch has asked for five faculty representatives to the search committee, and Staff Association Council (SAC) President Rich Colwell told the University Times that one staff representative was requested.

Colwell, who was the sole SAC representative on the 1995 search committee, said he again would represent staff.

Tritch stated that the search committee membership will be finalized with the election of the faculty representatives, enabling the committee to get to work “immediately.”

Faculty balloting, which began online Monday, will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 10. Details are at

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 1

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