Humphrey Appointed Senior Vice Chancellor, Chief of Staff

Issue Date: 
January 26, 2015

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced that he has appointed Kathy Humphrey to the position of senior vice chancellor for engagement and chief of staff. Humphrey was serving as vice provost and dean of students at Pitt, a position she held for the past nine years.

Gallagher said that in her new position, Humphrey will concentrate on both internal and external relations, focusing on facilitating business engagement, strategic initiatives and partnerships, and government interaction at all levels. She will be working closely with Gallagher and Pitt senior management to position the University to have maximum impact in the region, the Commonwealth, and beyond. Units reporting to Humphrey will include the Office of Community and Governmental Relations, the Office of University Communications, and the Office of the Secretary.

Kathy Humphrey

“Kathy Humphrey has been an effective and transformative leader in Student Affairs,” Gallagher said, “and I am excited that now she will be addressing broader University initiatives that cut across issues and disciplines and which will enable Pitt to be more effective in meeting the big challenges that should be the business of a major research university.”

Humphrey said she is excited about the opportunity to be involved in helping move Pitt forward in new directions, but acknowledged that she will miss the day-to-day interaction with students. She emphasized, however, that she is not leaving them behind.  “While I won’t have daily interaction with students, I am confident that all that I do will contribute to enabling Pitt to continue to provide the best collegiate experience in the world, an experience that prepares them to live lives of significance,” she said. 

Humphrey has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions over the course of her professional career. She was honored as a recipient of a YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award (in Education) and was selected as a member of the New Pittsburgh Courier 50 Women of Excellence. She also received the University of Pittsburgh African American Alumni Council (AAAC) inaugural Sankofa Award, and has been chosen as the Pitt Administrator of the Year the past four years by the student body. Most recently, she was one of 32 women from 13 countries chosen to participate in the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellows Program. 

Active in the Macedonia Baptist Church, Humphrey is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh and she serves on the boards of directors of the Pittsburgh American Red Cross and the Three Rivers Adoption Council. She was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve on the Advisory Council for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  

She noted that she is looking forward to expanding her involvement with the community. “Pitt is an integral part of the community and helping to develop partnerships that strengthen our community is one of the most attractive aspects of this new position,” she said.

Prior to joining the leadership team at Pitt, she served for six years as the vice president for student development at Saint Louis University, where she was awarded the William B. Sweet Distinguished Service Award, the Woman of the Year, and had the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity” named in her honor by the International Student Federation.  

Humphrey earned a BS in education at Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri), an MA in higher education administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a doctorate in educational leadership at Saint Louis University. She has a faculty appointment in Pitt’s School of Education and is committed to helping students persist and graduate.  

G. Reynolds Clark, who has served as chief of staff for nine years, will continue at the University as vice chancellor and special assistant to the chancellor until his retirement this summer. “Pitt is indebted to Renny, as I am personally, for his willingness to provide invaluable assistance, especially in periods of transition,” Gallagher said. “An indication of Renny’s dedication is the fact that he has postponed his retirement on two previous occasions to assist with transitions, so he has more than earned the right to retire, and he will do so with our immense gratitude.”

Kenyon Bonner, who has served as director of student life for the past 11 years and associate dean of students for the past seven, has been named interim vice provost and dean of students. In his roles with Student Affairs, he has been responsible for managing educational, social, and experiential-learning programs for Pitt students. 

Pitt Provost Patricia Beeson noted that the University is fortunate to have someone with Bonner’s experience and talent ready to step into this important role. “I am confident that Kenyon, together with the strong and dedicated staff in student affairs, will continue to support an exceptional student experience,” Beeson said.

All appointments are effective immediately.