Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

July 18, 1996

Athletic director's resignation is accepted

Pitt Athletic Director Oval Jaynes announced this week that he is resigning his position.

In a formal statement, Jaynes said his resignation was prompted by a "firm belief that the new chancellor ought to be able to pick his own administrative team." Also this week, rumors surfaced that Vice Chancellor for Student and Public Affairs Leon Haley soon will be leaving his post. Haley told the University Times that he, like several other members of the senior administration, has submitted his resignation to Chancellor Mark Nordenberg as a matter of courtesy.

Haley at first told the University Times that he had resigned. But later he clarified his remarks by saying he meant only that he had submitted a letter of resignation to the chancellor. According to Haley, Nordenberg has not indicated in writing that he has accepted Haley's letter of resignation. "I have nothing in writing to that effect, absolutely nothing," Haley said. Asked if the chancellor has indicated verbally that he has accepted Haley's letter of resignation, Haley replied: "Nothing verbally other than the indication that he…would like to obviously make some changes in the University administration program areas. He has indicated that." When asked if Haley had resigned, Nordenberg said: "People within the University community should assume that anyone currently holding a senior administrative position holds office with my full support until I announce that there is to be a change." Jaynes's resignation and the rumors about Haley leaving his post come in the wake of a suggestion by Board of Trustees' chair J. Wray Connolly that senior administrators who report to the chancellor submit their resignations as a matter of courtesy so that Nordenberg might appoint his own administrative team.

In an interview with the University Times two weeks ago, the chancellor said he had had written exchanges and oral discussions on the resignation issue with a number of senior administrators since his appointment, but that he did not expect a wholesale housecleaning.

Nordenberg said that when he held other administrative posts, he always considered it healthy to talk to people on an annual basis about both their plans and his plans for the future. He said summer is a time of year when he would normally be talking to people about their roles even without Connolly's request.

Currently, Nordenberg pointed out, the University already is looking for a vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement, a senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences and now an athletic director. He said filling those positions "will clearly be the focus of recruitment efforts during the next year." About Jaynes, Nordenberg said the University is indebted to him for moving the athletic department forward through his recruitment of coaches, his upgrading of athletic facilities and for "leading a program that was absolutely scrupulous in abiding by the governing rules." The chancellor said the University is fortunate that Jaynes has agreed to continue serving as athletic director until a successor is found. He said such a move is consistent with the professional manner in which Jaynes has always conducted himself.

"There seems to be a feeling on the part of some that whenever there are leadership changes that is a sign of some form of failure," Nordenberg added. "But I think those of us within the campus community have grown accustomed to the fact that we do see periodic changes in virtually all positions. Such changes can be healthy both for the institution and for the individual. I look forward to bright days within the athletic department." In talk both on campus and off, head football coach John Major has been mentioned as a logical replacement for Jaynes, but Nordenberg said he has not as yet given any real thought to the question of a replacement.

Jaynes became athletic director in August 1991 when former chancellor O'Connor hired him to replace Ed Bozik. Prior to coming to Pitt, Jaynes had been the athletic director at Colorado State University.

In announcing his resignation, Jaynes said: "Since coming to Pitt, my efforts have been guided by one overriding principle: to continue Pitt's athletic excellence in the difficult, ever-changing world of intercollegiate athletics, while maintaining the student-first philosophy for its student athletes. I think we have moved the athletic program ahead, but I also believe that this period of change in leadership for the University is the appropriate time for me to step aside." Also within the past week, Ronald Frisch was named interim associate vice chancellor for Human Resources and Andrew Blair was named interim dean of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and the College of Business Administration.

Blair's appointment as interim dean of Katz and the undergraduate College of Business Administration means that long-time Katz Dean H. J. Zoffer finally can step down from the post. Zoffer had announced plans to retire last year. Blair will assume his duties on July 29.

"Even though there may very well be an announcement of a permanent dean in the near future, such a permanent dean is unlikely to arrive on the campus in time for the fall term," said Provost James Maher. "As a result I needed to appoint an interim dean for the coming months and Professor Blair very kindly agreed to fill that role.

"He's a very experienced former associate dean of the school," Maher continued, "and a very respected member of the faculty of the school. So I am very confident that we will be able to operate the school very effectively with Professor Blair as the interim dean." Blair is director of Pitt's International Business Center and a professor of business administration and economics. He will serve as interim dean until a national search to identify a permanent dean is completed. The names of four finalists for the position were presented to Maher in early May. The finalists are: James Dworkin, associate dean of Purdue University's Krannert Graduate School of Management; Robert Forsythe, associate dean for faculty and development at the University of Iowa; Michael J. Houston, associate dean of faculty at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, and Dana Johnson, dean of the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest University. Maher also needs to appoint a permanent dean for GSPIA. The school has been without a permanent director since Davis Bobrow resigned in January 1995. The names of four finalists were submitted to the provost in May, but no decision has as yet been made, according to Maher.

Finalists for GSPIA dean are: Joel D. Aberbach, director of the Center of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA; Carolyn Ban, associate professor of public administration and policy at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany; Mitchell Wallenstein, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for counterprolifera-tion policy, and Charles Wise, associate dean for the School of Environmental Affairs at Indiana University at Bloomington.

Frisch, director of Compensation and Benefits in the Office of Human Resources, replaces Darlene Lewis as associate vice chancellor for Human Resources. He assumed his interim post on July 12. Lewis will officially leave Pitt on July 31 for a position at Vanderbilt University.

Prior to coming to Pitt in 1995, Frisch served as the director of Human Resources and Administration at Deloitte and Touche, one of the nation's largest accounting firms.

"Having worked closely with Mr. Frisch over the past year," said Jerome Cochran, assistant chancellor and interim vice chancellor of Business, "I am confident that he can meet the challenges and responsibilities of his interim appointment with that level of professional effort which will ensure the delivery to the University community of high quality services from the Office of Human Resources."

–Mike Sajna

Leave a Reply