By DONOVAN HARRELL
Catherine Koverola announced on June 29 that she was resigning from her position as president of Pitt–Bradford and Pitt–Titusville, effective on July 1.
Provost Ann Cudd said in an email announcement that Koverola cited “personal reasons” for her resignation and that Rick Esch, vice president for business affairs at Pitt–Bradford, will serve as interim president.
No further comments were given, and Koverola did not respond to a University Times request for comment.
Koverola began her presidency in June 2019. She came to Pitt after serving as a senior advisor and inaugural provost at the African Leadership University in Mauritius, Africa. She took the place of Lawrence Feick, who had been interim president at both campuses since Livingston Alexander retired in June 2018.
Under her leadership, Pitt–Bradford increased its efforts in addressing systemic racism and inequity. She also oversaw the construction of Pitt–Titusville Education and Training Hub, which launched in August 2020. The school also received a $1.2 million federal grant. Additionally, the school’s nursing program has been ranked as one of the top 10 nursing programs in the Commonwealth.
Esch recently received Pitt–Bradford’s Staff Recognition Award for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. He represented the campuses on the Chancellor’s Resilience Steering Committee and led a COVID-19 Mitigation Response Team.
“We never would have gotten through this challenging time without Rick,” Koverola said in announcing the award. “He is the bedrock of Pitt–Bradford and embodies servant leadership.”
Pitt–Bradford Senate President Matt Kropf said he was surprised by Koverola’s resignation, adding that he had no prior indication that she planned on resigning.
“This past year was obviously a heavy lift for all faculty, and we kept our campus safe,” Kropf said. “She helped us get through, and I really think we delivered the best possible experience for students, and I think we’re really on a good track to keep doing that. We’ll definitely miss her, but we’re still on a very positive track on the campus and lots of great things (are) in our future.”
Kropf added that he has no doubt Esch “will be a good interim president and will be able to carry forward all the work that we do.”
Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-383-9905.
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