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July 12, 2007

Chancellor calls FY07 “a really big year” for Pitt

In his traditional end-of-the-fiscal-year report to Pitt trustees, Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg declared 2006-2007 to be “a really big year for our University.”

“It was a really big year in terms of the really big goals we achieved, as we burst through the $1 billion mark in our extended capital campaign, and continued to build momentum in our critical and continuing quest to secure a resource base adequate to support our academic ambitions,” Nordenberg told the Board of Trustees June 29. “Mainly this was a big year in terms of performance. In virtually every area of institutional activity, the people of Pitt added to our already enviable record of high achievement.”

As examples of Pitt’s big year, Nordenberg cited national and international accolades for Pitt students, faculty appointments to major honorary and professional societies, capital projects on all five of Pitt’s campuses, the launching of the Cathedral of Learning refurbishing project, continued success in attracting sponsored research funding, high ratings for the University and its programs by several national publications and ratings agencies and the marking of Pitt’s 220th birthday.

“Even as we act as responsible stewards of Pitt’s proud past, we also are focused on building an even brighter future,” the chancellor said.

A key component of the future, Nordenberg said, is the success of Pitt’s $2 billion capital campaign, which now stands at $1.1 billion in funds and pledges.

Dubbed “Discover a World of Possibilities” and launched in 1997, the campaign had its initial $500 million goal doubled by the Board of Trustees in 2002. It was doubled again in June 2006 to $2 billion after the $1 billion mark was reached some eight months ahead of schedule. Pitt has not set an expected end date for the $2 billion goal.

At the trustees meeting, Nordenberg introduced siblings Eva Tansky Blum and Burton Marvin Tansky, who are Pittsburgh natives and Pitt alumni as well as trustees, as new co-chairs of the fundraising campaign. Blum is senior vice president, director of community affairs and chair of the PNC Foundation. Tansky is president and CEO of the Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.

Blum and Tansky succeed Thomas J. Usher, retired chair and CEO of U.S. Steel Corp. and current chair of Marathon Oil Corp., who chaired the capital campaign from its inception.

“One thing we never should forget about this campaign,” Nordenberg said, “is that it was led from the start — and I mean when we had raised nothing — by one chair and that one chair is your fellow trustee, Tom Usher. Tom is without question one of this region’s most respected leaders, and Tom is as ‘Pitt’ as you can get, with three University of Pittsburgh degrees, including a PhD. As you might imagine, since we kept doubling our goals, Tom’s service as campaign chair has extended a bit longer than the tour of duty to which he originally agreed. We can never thank you enough, Tom.”

Nordenberg expressed confidence that the brother-sister tandem can lead Pitt past its $2 billion campaign goal. “Their talents, experiences and expertise, combined with their devotion to Pitt and its mission, will re-position an already successful campaign to attract even higher levels of support,” Nordenberg said. “We are grateful to Burt and Eva for their willingness to serve their alma mater.”

To mark the occasion, Nordenberg gave the trustees gold T-shirts printed with “Team Tansky: Going for 2.”

“Of course, we’re not just going for two,” he said. “We will get to the goal. I have no real doubt that we will arrive at our destination. Without question, we are making real progress in our over-arching goal: to clearly establish Pitt as one of the finest, most productive universities in the world.”

Nordenberg added, “We never have lost sight of the fact that this campaign will be measured less by the amount of dollars raised and more by the good use that we make of those funds.”

Before the campaign began, the chancellor noted, citing two examples, Pitt had 40 endowed chairs, a number that has risen to 114 during the campaign. Similarly, Pitt had 417 endowed scholarship funds at the campaign’s launch and now there are 784. All of those funds are at markedly higher levels than in years past, Nordenberg said.


Trustees re-elected the chairperson and vice chairpersons, as well as six members of the board’s executive committee, to one-year terms. Also re-elected at the June 29 meeting were seven term and special trustees.

Re-elected as board chair was Ralph J. Cappy, chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Cappy first was elected board chairperson in June 2003 and has been re-elected each June since then.

Board co-chairs Suzanne W. Broadhurst, director of corporate giving at Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, and Robert M. Hernandez, retired vice chair and CFO of USX Corp. and chair of RTI International Metals, Inc., also were re-elected.

Executive committee members re-elected were:

• Blum;

• John G. Conomikes, chair of the executive committee of Hearst Argyle Television, Inc.;

• George L. Miles Jr., president and CEO of WQED Multimedia;

• Marlee S. Myers, Pittsburgh office managing partner of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP;

• Thomas H. O’Brien, retired chair of PNC Financial Services Group, and

• Robert A. Paul, chair and CEO of AMPCO-Pittsburgh Corp.

Re-elected term and special trustees were:

• G. Nicholas Beckwith III, chair and CEO of Arch Street Management LLC, re-elected as a special trustee;

• Michael A. Bryson, CFO and director of finance and corporate strategy of Mellon Financial Corp., re-elected as a term trustee;

• Cappy, re-elected as a term trustee;

• F. James McCarl III, president of The McCarl Group, re-elected as a special trustee;

• John H. Pelusi Jr., executive managing director and managing member of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, re-elected as a term trustee;

• William E. Strickland Jr., president and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corp., re-elected as a term trustee, and

• Tansky, re-elected as a term trustee.

The board also welcomed seven new members at the June meeting. They are:

• Terrence P. Laughlin (KGSB ’81) of New York City, senior vice president and head of Strategic Growth Opportunities, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and chair of Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust Co., FSB, elected as a special trustee;

• Susan P. McGalla of Pittsburgh, president and chief merchandising officer of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., elected as a special trustee;

• Bryant J. Salter (CAS ’71) of Florida, founder and CEO of Business Diplomacy Consulting LLC, elected as an alumni trustee;

• Emil M. Spadafore Jr. (CAS ’71), a partner in the Meadville, Pa., law firm of Thomas, Spadafore, Walker & Keenan and chair of the Pitt-Titusville advisory board, elected as a special trustee;

• David Tilstone, president of Extrude Hone Corp., a subsidiary of Kennametal Inc. and a member of the Pitt-Greensburg advisory board, elected as a special trustee;

• Stephen R. Tritch (Engineering ’71, KGSB ’77) of Monroeville, president and CEO of the Westinghouse Electric Co., elected as an alumni trustee, and

• John J. Verbanac, CEO of Summa Development LLC, who was appointed a commonwealth trustee by the Pennsylvania Senate president pro tem.

Nordenberg acknowledged the service of two departing members. Evans Rose Jr., a trustee for 26 years, and Mark Pasquerilla, who has served since 2005, were given trustee medallions by the chancellor.


In other actions, trustees:

• Approved raising student fees at three of the regional campuses, as recommended by the trustees student affairs committee.

The student center fee at Pitt-Greensburg, which supports recreational and fitness facilities at Chambers Hall, has been raised from $37 to $45 per term for full-time students and from $14 to $17 for part-timers beginning this fall. The student orientation fee at UPG has been increased from $40 to $50 for all first-year students, also effective this fall. Both fee increases were endorsed by the Greensburg advisory board.

At Pitt-Johnstown, the student activity fee has been raised from $58 to $83 per full-time student per term, effective fall term 2007. The fee increase was endorsed by the Johnstown advisory board and the UPJ Student Government Association.

Titusville students will see an increase in the new student orientation fee from $45 to $60 for each new full-time student effective this summer. The UPT advisory board endorsed the increase.

• Changed bylaws to allow non-voting community representatives on most trustees committees to serve more than four consecutive one-year terms. The action was taken, trustees said, “because the University has benefited greatly from the expertise provided by community representatives, particularly in the fields of finance and investing.”

• Announced the full board next will meet on Oct. 26.

—Peter Hart

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