State Legislature Honors Chancellor Nordenberg

Issue Date: 
April 7, 2014

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate honored University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg on March 18 by unanimously passing resolutions citing the myriad of accomplishments and rise in stature that the University has enjoyed under the chancellor’s leadership. Nordenberg, who will step down from his position on Aug. 1 after 19 years as chancellor, was in the state Capitol as part of the annual Pitt Day in Harrisburg.

The House of Representatives resolution was introduced by Rep. Dan Frankel, a former Pitt Commonwealth Trustee, who said Chancellor Nordenberg “has led the university during challenging times, including an unprecedented reduction in state funding, while growing the size of the student body and maintaining the high quality of a Pitt education. … It is fitting and proper that this House recognize a man who has devoted his entire professional career to higher education in this Commonwealth, and in the process helped to transform the lives of tens of thousands of students and graduates and the entire Western Pennsylvania region.”

The Senate resolution was introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati.

Both resolutions cited the many achievements accomplished during Nordenberg’s tenure, including:

  • A rise to fifth among all American universities in federal science and engineering research and development support
  • The development of Pitt into one of the nation’s leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Boren Scholars, Whitaker International Fellows, National Science Foundation Fellows, Critical Language Scholars, and Humanity in Action Scholars
  • A rise of more than 180 points on Pitt’s expectations for SAT exam scores
  • A more than 20 percent increase in enrollment

The resolutions also cited the chancellor’s strong relationships with UPMC and Carnegie Mellon University; his numerous civic and academic awards; and the university’s role as a regional economic powerhouse.

Several legislators in both chambers praised the chancellor’s achievements. From the floor of the House, Rep. John Maher, a Pitt trustee, said Chancellor Nordenberg “leads with a tone from the top that he exhibits integrity, humility, a commitment to excellence, a commitment to the community, and others at Pitt have followed his lead.”

Sen. Jake Corman said, “Chancellor Nordenberg has set the gold standard for university leadership.”

The Chancellor was joined on Pitt Day in Harrisburg by about 300 Pitt students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents, most of whom traveled by bus from Pitt’s William Pitt Union and who joined supporters from the University’s four regional campuses.

Pitt Day in Harrisburg was sponsored by Pitt’s Office of Community and Governmental Relations and the University’s Alumni Association.