Bernard J. Kobosky, former vice chancellor of public affairs, died Aug. 26, 2018 at 86.
Kobosky, who earned his Ph.D. at Pitt following bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Duquesne University, served the University from 1968 to 1988. His work here began as director of admissions and then as vice chancellor of student affairs; he later helped to direct Pitt’s governmental relations and development efforts.
After leaving Pitt, he joined UPMC Health System as a senior consultant from 1988 to 2003, cementing the administrative association between Pitt, its School of Medicine and Presbyterian, Montefiore and Shadyside hospitals.
“Bernie was a very unique individual, a very charismatic man who was able to get along with many people at all levels, from undergraduate students to governors,” said Mary Ann Aug, who worked under Kobosky as director of news and publications and eventually as associate vice chancellor for executive communications.
Aug recalled Kobosky seeing students picketing outside the Cathedral of Learning in the late 1970s. Their message on that day is lost to memory, she said, but Kobosky’s actions are not: “He grabbed a case of bottles of water and greeted the students, and started chatting with them: ‘What is your cause? What are your goals?’ He treated people as people rather than issues, or ‘the opposition.’ That was very typical of Bernie’s reaction to situations: get it down to people-to-people, then you can understand the situation. It always impressed me.”
Such relationships extended to his colleagues across the University and to officials in local and state government, she said. “We formed real partnerships up and down the University. That’s what Bernie did. He had a lot of interaction with the state level on getting funding to the University,” which was particularly important for securing funds for building projects.
“Bernie had very positive relations with Harrisburg and things got done,” she said. “He contributed to bringing in a lot of money that contributed to a lot of growth and change.”
Kobosky is survived by his wife, Evelyn S. Kobosky; children Janet M. Kobosky and Bernard J. Kobosky Jr.; granddaughter, Julia Barlow; and step-granddaughter Alexandra Good.
Memorial gifts are suggested to Family Hospice and Palliative Care, 50 Moffett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15243 or the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Scholarship Fund, 930 N. Lincoln Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15233.