After 19 years as the head of the University of Pittsburgh, Mark Nordenberg will step down in August. He made the announcement last year, and Friday he attended his last Pitt Board of Trustees meeting, where Nordenberg was unanimously elected chancellor emeritus.
The designation will take effect when he officially leaves his post. At a news conference following the board meeting, Nordenberg said his greatest triumph is the chance in culture that has occurred since 1995.
“The elevated sense of pride and ambition, the sense of connection from people from so many constituent groups to the university, that’s the highest point for me because it can be the lasting foundation for so many good things to come,” he said.
Nordenberg said the challenges have been frequent and have taken many forms, but two in particular stand out.
“The budget cuts that were proposed in the last several years, I viewed as a threat not only the University of Pittsburgh, but to public higher education in Pennsylvania, so that was something that we took very seriously and worked very hard on,” he said.
The other challenge was the string of bomb threats that terrorized the school in early 2012.
At the board meeting, Nordenberg outlined Pitt’s successes over the years and thanked a long list of people. At the end of the meeting, the board played a short video of Nordenber’s life and passed the resolution honoring him.
In the near future, Nordenberg will travel to South Korea Sunday then to China for the first board meeting and official groundbreaking for the new Sichuan Pittsburgh Engineering Institute.
The University of Pittsburgh tapped a U.S. Commerce Department official to be its next chancellor.
Patrick Gallagher, the acting deputy secretary of the agency, is set to start at Pitt in August. The 50-year-old Gallagher currently serves as chief operating officer of the Commerce Department. The agency has 40,000 employees and a $10 billion budget.