Ferketish to Join School of Education Faculty

Issue Date: 
June 15, 2015

B. Jean Ferketish will step down as secretary of the board and assistant chancellor to join the faculty of the School of Education’s Higher Education Management program. The change is effective July 1.

“Jean and the team she leads have made it much easier to be an effective trustee,” said Stephen R. Tritch, chair of Pitt’s Board of Trustees. “I know the entire board joins me in thanking her for her contributions over the past 13 years.”

B. Jean FerketishFerketish has been an elected officer of the University since 2002, directing the office that provides professional support to the board’s chair, its 50 active and 30 emeritus members, and its 14 standing committees. She also served as secretary to the search committees for the chancellor in 2013 and for the provost in 2010.

“I also want to thank Jean for her support to the Board of Trustees and to me personally as I transitioned into this position. Her help and insight have been invaluable,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, who added that Ferketish will continue to support his office as she begins her new faculty appointment. “This adds complexity to her life but will ensure a smooth transition,” he added. 

In reflecting on her work as secretary, Ferketish said, “I have enjoyed my time working with the board. They are an accomplished and talented group of committed people. Their enthusiasm for all things blue and gold is rewarding to see.” 

As assistant chancellor, she oversaw University-wide events, including commencement and freshman convocation, and led a wide range of special projects within the University and in the broader community.

Ferketish played a leading role in directing Pitt’s 225th Anniversary Celebration, the redesign of the Vira Heinz Scholarship Program for Women in Global Leadership, and the team that initially redesigned the Emerging Leaders Program for undergraduates.

In addition, she led the teams that developed the legacy gallery in Alumni Hall’s lobby and the Cathedral of Learning’s first-floor kiosk. She was recognized by the Big East in 2008 for contributions to girls and women in sports for establishing the Hoopla for Pitt’s Women’s Basketball.

Ferketish has taught at Pitt for more than 16 years. Her course in leadership is cross-registered in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the Graduate School of Public Health, the School of Social Work, and the School of Education. She also teaches organization development and strategic planning in the Masters of Higher Education Program and is on the faculty for the newly introduced EdD program in the School of Education.

Ferketish joined Pitt in 1995, introducing organization development methods to the University. In 1997, she was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for client service and organization development.  She moved to the Office of the Chancellor as assistant chancellor in 1999 and then added the responsibilities of the secretary of the board in 2002.

“I first worked with Jean as a client when I sought her guidance with respect to organizational changes in the Chancellor’s Office. I was so impressed by her distinctive set of skills and experiences that I invited her to become part of my senior team and assume a broader set of responsibilities. In a wide range of ways the University has benefited from her work,” said Chancellor Emeritus Mark A. Nordenberg.

Before joining Pitt, Ferketish served as a consultant to Westinghouse and Development Dimensions International (DDI). She created many of DDI’s organizational change models and processes, received DDI’s Presidential Award, and coauthored the book, Organization Change that Works: How to Merge Culture and Business Strategies for Maximum Results. 

Ferketish earned a PhD and MBA from Pitt and a BA from Duquesne University. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and vice president of the board for the Provident Charter School for Children with Dyslexia. She is a past board member of The Ellis School and of Leadership Pittsburgh.