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September 12, 2013

Chancellor search committee named

Following completion of faculty elections, Board of Trustees Chairperson Stephen R. Tritch has appointed the members of the chancellor search committee and launched a web site with information on the search for a successor to Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, who will retire Aug. 1, 2014.

The search committee

Faculty voting ended Sept. 10 for five representatives to the committee. They are: David Bartholomae of English, representing the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Anthony Delitto of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, representing the Schools of the Health Sciences; Maria Kovacs of psychiatry, representing the School of Medicine; Carrie Leana of business, representing the Provost’s area professional schools, and Jerry Samples of mechanical engineering at Pitt-Johnstown, representing the regional campuses.

Faculty voting hit a snag when the name of one nominee from the medical school inadvertently appeared on the list of candidates from other Schools of the Health Sciences, prompting University Senate leaders to restart the voting in the medical school and health sciences schools.

Faculty members were permitted to vote only for a representative from their own school or area.

At the Sept. 3 Faculty Assembly meeting, University Senate President Michael Spring said balloting was restarted Sept. 2 and faculty in the affected schools were notified. “It was important that we do that,” Spring said. “It was the only way not to cause further controversy.”

Spring said he was pleased not only with the number of nominees but also their caliber, telling Faculty Assembly last week that the high interest in serving on the committee was a tribute to Nordenberg and the importance of his position to faculty.


Others appointed to the chancellor search committee are: Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford; Kathy W. Humphrey, vice provost and dean of students; Randy P. Juhl, vice chancellor for research conduct and compliance; Arthur G. Ramicone, chief financial officer; Donald S. Burke, dean of the Graduate School of Public Health; Gerald D. Holder, dean of the Swanson School of Engineering; Richard R. Colwell, Staff Association Council president, and Robert J. Cindrich (Law ’68), law school Board of Visitors member.

Representing students on the search committee are Amelia R. Brause, Student Government Board member, and David M. Gau, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Government.

Trustees on the search committee are Suzanne W. Broadhurst, Mary Ellen Callahan (A&S, Honors College ’90), Dawne S. Hickton (Law ’83), Alfred L. Moyé (A&S ’68), Marlee S. Myers (A&S ’74, Law ’77), John H. Pelusi Jr. (A&S ’77, GSPIA ’79), Robert P. Randall (A&S ’65) and Jack D. Smith (A&S ’69, Med ’73).

The committee is chaired by trustee Eva Tansky Blum (A&S ’70, Law ’73) and vice chair James V. Maher, provost emeritus. B. Jean Ferketish, secretary of the Board of Trustees and assistant chancellor, is the committee secretary.

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

In a Sept. 11 University Update, Tritch stated: “This is a very strong committee comprising, as it does, individuals who share a demonstrable commitment to the success of the University and who bring a wide variety of knowledge and skills to the task at hand. The professional diversity of the members, coupled with the regional, national and international perspectives that they bring to the table, will be a valuable asset in our ongoing search.”  Profiles of committee members and Tritch’s update are posted at

Community input

Tritch also announced a series of 14 chancellor search forums and a survey through which the University community can offer input on factors they find important in the search for a new chancellor.

Seven forums have been scheduled on University campuses. The first of three meetings on the Pittsburgh campus will be on Sept. 18; forums also are set for each of the four regional campuses (see box). Seven forums have been scheduled in cities across the country. The final forum is set for Oct. 4 in San Francisco. Forum dates and locations are posted at

No further timeframe for the search committee’s work was announced, but Tritch stated in his Sept. 11 update that the committee is committed to progressing swiftly in order to recruit the best candidates. Following the completion of the forums, “we will be moving out of the highly visible stage of the search process, into the period when the need for confidentiality for the candidates is essential to attracting the very best candidates. Therefore, much of the ensuing search activity, especially as it relates to the confidentiality concerns of the candidates, will not be publicly available,” Tritch stated.

“Rest assured, however, that throughout the months ahead, the board’s commitment to bringing the search for the next chancellor to a deliberate, swift and successful conclusion will continue unabated. I assure you, as well, that throughout this period I will keep you informed as circumstances allow.”

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 46 Issue 2

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