Foundation of Strength

The University welcomed a world-class cohort of educators, researchers, and academic leaders who will shape the learning and lives of Pitt students for years to come.


August 19, 2016
New Leader for Human Resources

Cheryl L. Johnson is named vice chancellor for human resources. Formerly vice president for human capital services at Kansas State University, she will lead Pitt’s human resources programs and initiatives to attract, develop, and retain an exceptional workforce. Her areas of responsibility include benefits, employment, compensation, employee and labor relations, and organization development.

October 6, 2016
A Champion for Consumer Health in U.S. Pharmacies

Trustee Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, is honored as the University’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Fellow. The award, Pitt’s premier alumni honor, recognizes graduates with extraordinary records of professional achievement and community service. Led by Merlo (PHARM ’78), CVS was the first retail pharmacy chain in the nation to ban the sale of tobacco products due to their negative health effects. This decision has proven to reduce or deter tobacco use.

November 8, 2016
Celebrating a Rare Special-Collections Book

Pitt’s annual Audubon Day celebrates Birds of America by John James Audubon. The book was originally published in 1838. Consisting of 435 life-sized, hand-colored prints of birds, the University’s rare complete set is the single most-valuable acquisition in its library collections.

January 10, 2017
New Dean Will Lead School of Education

Valerie Kinloch is named the next Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education. She is a professor of literacy studies and the associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement in the Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology. She officially joined Pitt on July 1.

February 6, 2017
Pitt in Boston, A Model Visit

In a three-day event that will serve as a model for future visits to cities nationwide, Pitt staff and faculty members travel to Boston, Mass., to connect with alumni, meet prospective students and their parents, gather with high school guidance counselors, deepen research partnerships, and spotlight Pitt innovations to audiences at MIT and Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. The accompanying awareness campaign reaches subscribers of the Boston Globe and Boston Herald, listeners of NPR affiliate WBUR; and travelers moving through Boston Logan International Airport, which serves millions of people every day. Activity on social media generates 1.3 million impressions around the event.

February 24, 2017
HR Office Wins National Award

The Office of Human Resources wins the Fred C. Ford Award from the national College and University Professional Association for Human Resources for the creation of Pitt’s innovative employee wellness center developed by the benefits department.

February 28, 2017
Facilities Renamed as a Tribute at Regional Campuses

Three University facilities at regional campuses are renamed to honor the careers and contributions of the late U.S. Representative John Murtha (A&S ’61), and renowned opera singer Marilyn Horne, a native of Bradford, Pa., and friend of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (UPB). The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown dedicates the John P. Murtha Engineering and Science Building and officially designates the John P. Murtha Center for Public Service and National Competitiveness, which opened in April 2017. UPB’s Seneca Building is now Marilyn Horne Hall.

February 28, 2017
Inaugural Day of Giving Reaps Nearly $6 Million

On Founder’s Day—the University’s 230th birthday—thousands of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends participate in the first-ever Pitt Day of Giving. The result? An amazing $5.7 million from donors in all 50 states and 22 countries to support student scholarships, academic excellence, and much more.

April 10, 2017
Entrepreneurial Engineer to Lead Pitt's Research Strategy

Rob A. Rutenbar is named senior vice chancellor for research, a newly established position. He will lead the University’s strategic vision for research and innovation while enhancing existing technological partnerships. An entrepreneur who founded two tech firms, he also served on the computer science faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign and on the engineering faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

April 13, 2017
New Pitt Federal Relations Director in Washington, D.C

Anthony Gibson, formerly a senior advisor for legislative affairs at the National Science Foundation, will lead the Washington, D.C., site of Pitt’s Office of Community and Governmental Relations, where he will serve as executive director of federal relations for the University.

April 21, 2017
Renovation Projects Improve Learning Environment, Support Local Jobs

The Board of Trustees’ Property and Facilities Committee approves renovation projects within five Pitt facilities: Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Scaife Hall, the Victoria Building, the Chevron Science Center, and the Cathedral of Learning. The approved projects will create 135 construction and 54 support jobs.

May 1, 2017
New Director Appointed for University Library System

Kornelia Tancheva arrives as the newly appointed Hillman University Librarian and director of the University Library System. Formerly with Cornell University Library, she expects to build upon the strengths and achievements of Pitt’s library system while shaping its future in the rapidly changing environment of higher education.

May 1, 2017
Next-Generation Leadership for the Dietrich School

Kathleen M. Blee is named the new Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and dean of the College of General Studies. Formerly the school’s associate dean for graduate studies and research and a Distinguished Professor in the sociology department, she is a respected scholar, an experienced and collaborative administrator, and an innovative leader.

May 8, 2017
Founding Dean Selected for New School of Computing and Information

Paul R. Cohen, of the national Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will lead operations for Pitt’s first newly established school in more than 20 years as the founding dean of the new School of Computing and Information.

June 22, 2017
Scholar-Researcher Leads Honors College

Brian A. Primack is named the Bernice L. and Morton S. Lerner Chair and dean of the University Honors College. An interdisciplinary scholar and researcher, the new dean’s academic interests range from media messaging and community engagement to clinical medicine and public health. A faculty member at Pitt since 2002, he is a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and clinical and translational science in the School of Medicine.

June 22, 2017
Campus Building Renamed to Honor K. Leroy Irvis

Pennsylvania Hall, a student residence hall, is renamed by the Board of Trustees to honor K. Leroy Irvis (LAW ’54). The move posthumously honors the legacy of this emeritus trustee and dynamic legislative leader.