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September 26, 1996

Search to begin again for Detre's successor

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg has decided to re-open the search for a successor to Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences Thomas Detre.

Nordenberg said he hopes to identify a successor by next summer, so he or she could be in place for the fall 1997 term.

The chancellor also said he still is considering merging the positions of Health Sciences senior vice chancellor and dean of the School of Medicine. "I would need to make a decision on that before charging the search committee [for Detre's successor], so it would have to be within the next few weeks," Nordenberg said.

Proponents of merging the two jobs argue that the Health Sciences senior vice chancellor position, as currently configured, lacks budgetary clout and is too subordinate to the president of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Jeffrey Romoff.

In November 1995, then-Interim Chancellor Nordenberg appointed George Michalopoulos interim medical dean and associate vice chancellor for Health Sciences. The latter appointment was permanent. The interim deanship was expected to last until fall 1997.

Detre said he will continue as senior vice chancellor until a successor is named. Detre originally planned to retire in 1993, but a search ended that summer when Pitt's administration could not reach an agreement with any of the four finalists. A second search, in 1995, was called off by the Board of Trustees. Board leaders said that naming a successor to Detre should wait until the appointment of a permanent chancellor.

Nordenberg has asked University Senate President Keith McDuffie to begin the process of forming a search committee by appointing two faculty nominating committees, one for the Health Sciences and the other for the Provost's area. The nominating committees will develop a slate of faculty candidates to serve on the search committee.

According to a document called University of Pittsburgh Guidelines for Search Committees for Senior Administrators, the Health Sciences senior vice chancellor search committee should include five elected faculty members — two from the medical school, two representing Pitt's other five Health Sciences schools, and one representing the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools.

Also serving on the search committee, according to the guidelines, should be one staff employee named by the Staff Association Council, one undergraduate student named by the Student Government Board, and one graduate student named by the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

The chancellor appoints the search committee chairperson and may appoint up to six more search committee members to provide balance in terms of race, gender, faculty rank and other considerations, the guidelines state.

— Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature,Volume 29 Issue 3

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