Chancellor to Chair University’s Institute of Politics

Issue Date: 
June 16, 2014

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg—who will step down on Aug. 1 from his current position after 19 years of distinguished leadership and service—will serve in the new position of Chair of the University’s Institute of Politics, effective Jan. 1, 2015. His service in this new venture is designed to further strengthen ties between the University of Pittsburgh and its home communities and to enhance efforts to address key policy issues facing the region.

The institute provides a unique and neutral forum for public and private decision-makers to study and discuss important policy issues, while also delivering timely information about such issues to elected officials and to community leaders, as well as to the public. In selecting the Institute for its Good Government Award, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh stated, “The work of the institute in informing and engaging students, community and civic leaders, foundation and corporate executives, elected officials and foreign dignitaries in discourse about good government lies at the heart of our democracy and serves as exemplary civic leadership.”

In announcing this appointment, Stephen R. Tritch, Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, stated, “As has been widely recognized, during his service as Pitt’s chancellor, Mark Nordenberg set a new standard for the active engagement of a sitting university leader in meeting the shared and never-ending challenge of building an even stronger region. From this new position of leadership within the Institute of Politics, he will be able to invest even more of his time in this important work, which will be good for Pitt, for our home communities, and for the Commonwealth.”

Among many other activities during his tenure as chancellor, Nordenberg served as cochair of a special legislative commission charged with studying the problems facing Pennsylvania’s urban schools, chaired a working group that developed an action plan for regional workforce development, chaired a record-setting United Way campaign, chaired a committee that examined issues of leadership and governance in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and chaired a citizen’s advisory committee on the efficiency and effectiveness of city-county government. He also served as cochair of Governor Corbett’s education transition team and as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Higher Education. Countless groups have recognized him for his strong community commitments.

“When I announced my decision to step down as chancellor, I stated that my heart would remain in Western Pennsylvania and that my future would be at Pitt. Those feelings, particularly when combined with the exceptional quality and impact of the Institute of Politics, made this opportunity uniquely appealing,” said Nordenberg. “It will be an honor to build on the outstanding work that already has been done under the leadership of Moe Coleman, the institute’s founding director, and Terry Miller, the current director. I look forward, in particular, to partnering with Terry, who will continue working to advance the institute as a whole but who also will begin focusing more directly on launching and building the Institute’s new Elsie H. Hillman Civic Forum, an initiative that she helped to shape and to which she is deeply committed.”

“For as long as I have been associated with the Institute of Politics, Chancellor Nordenberg has been one of its strongest champions,” said Miller. “In fact, it was after he became chancellor and took a more active interest in the institute that we began to generate even higher levels of participation by important regional leaders. His leadership style, which is grounded in respectful discussion and reasoned analysis, is reflected in the traditions of the institute. As he steps down as chancellor and assumes this new leadership role, then, the institute seems poised to take another large step forward with him.”

Chancellor-Elect Patrick Gallagher underscored his enthusiasm for this appointment, stating, “Helping to foster community development and regional economic growth has been a high priority for Chancellor Nordenberg. Positioning him to continue advancing those goals through the Institute of Politics is a very positive development, both for Pitt and for the broader community.”

Nordenberg said that he has not identified what might become specific areas of priority for the Institute, indicating that its priorities always have been established in a collaborative fashion. However, he did indicate that among the many areas of interest to him are community safety, economic development, education, the efficiency and effectiveness of government, immigration, infrastructure, public health, transportation and workforce development.