Ken Service to Retire as Vice Chancellor for Communications Next Summer

Issue Date: 
July 6, 2015

University of Pittsburgh Vice Chancellor for Communications Ken Service plans to retire in the summer of 2016. 

Ken ServiceIn his role as Pitt’s chief communications officer, Service oversees executive communications, local and national media relations, the Department of Communications Services, and University publications, including Pitt Magazine, the Pitt Chronicle, and the University Times. He also supervises Pitt’s Web presence and its advertising. 

Service, who has been vice chancellor since August 2013, previously served as director of news and information at Pitt from 1994 to 2001. “I have been very fortunate to have been a part of the University of Pittsburgh during two important times of transition, and the time has now come for me to make an important personal transition,” Service said. “I have worked with many talented and dedicated people here at Pitt, and I look forward to continuing helping to make a contribution during my final year at the University.” 

Kathy Humphrey, senior vice chancellor for engagement and chief of staff, said, “I appreciate Ken’s work and the positive spirit that he uses to lead the communications team. His professional expertise has enabled the University to maintain key communications—both across the institution and in the broader community—during a time of leadership transition and renewed strategic planning. His talents have helped to advance the University’s mission.” 

The University has hired a search firm with expertise in the communications area to help identify qualified candidates for the position. “This is an important position for the University, and it will be imperative that we hire someone who will help us to continue to aggressively tell the Pitt story locally, regionally, nationally, and globally,” Humphrey said. “We are grateful that Ken has agreed to work with us as we search to find our next vice chancellor of communications.”

In the years between his positions at Pitt, Service served as vice president for institutional relations at La Roche College and then as executive director of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education. Prior to joining Pitt in 1994, he held a number of senior communications and institutional advancement positions at other universities, including Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, SUNY at Buffalo, and the University of Cincinnati. 

Active in the community, he serves on the boards of directors of United Cerebral Palsy/Community Living & Support Services (UCP/CLASS) of Pittsburgh, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, Holy Family Institute International Undergraduate Education Program, Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, Global Pittsburgh, Sisters Place, and the Sister Thea Bowman Scholarship Foundation. He also is a member of the advisory boards of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Food Security Partnership. He is a founding member of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) National Counselors for Higher Education section, and he was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows in 1998.