Chatham News

Chatham University Trustees renew contract for President Esther L. Barazzone

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
November 8, 2011

Dr. Esther L. Barazzone

PITTSBURGH (November 8, 2011)… The Chatham University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend the contract of President Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D., according to an announcement by Trustee Chair S. Murray Rust III. Dr. Barazzone accepted the extension of her contract as president of Chatham University for an additional two years, assuring her continued service to Chatham through June 30, 2015.

“During Dr. Barazzone’s tenure as President, Chatham has made remarkable strides transforming itself from a struggling women’s college to a thriving cutting edge university,” Mr. Rust said in his statement. “Chatham College for Women has been revitalized and the College for Graduate Studies and the College for Continuing and Professional Studies have been created and are now well established. The Woodland Road campus has been substantially improved, the Eastside location has been established, and now the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Eden Hall Campus is being created, all under her leadership.”

About Esther L. Barazzone
Esther L. Barazzone became President of Chatham University in 1992, after a career as a faculty member and administrator at Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, and Philadelphia University. A relatively small women’s college of under 500 undergraduate students in 1992, all studying on the historic Woodland Road campus, Chatham under Dr. Barazzone’s leadership today has nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world studying on two campuses – both on-site and on-line – and at four sites, including the country’s first bilingual Physician Assistant program (located in Puerto Rico).  Chatham’s remarkable growth has been accompanied by remarkable praise from its peers, with Chatham hailed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (regional accreditors) as being a “place of strong intellectual values joined with an impulse for innovation” with the “potential to become a vibrant new national model for the transformation of higher education in the years to come.”

During her presidency, Dr. Barazzone also has led Chatham through a period of major institutional renewal and expansion leading to national recognition and elevation to university status in 2007.  Major program development under her leadership has included the creation of many new degree and certificate programs (undergraduate, graduate and continuing education), a Division III athletic program, outstanding graduate programs (including nationally renowned creative writing and health care programs), and University-wide initiatives such as the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship; the Pennsylvania Center for Women & Politics; the Rachel Carson Institute; The Regional Women’s Initiative; and the Global Focus program, which received the Institute of International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in 2003.  The tradition of innovation and excellence continues at Chatham’s new Eden Hall Campus, the first campus in the world to be built sustainably from the ground up and the future home of Chatham’s new School of Sustainability and the Environment.

Dr. Barazzone is an active leader in the national higher education community and has served on many boards, including the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).  She is a member of the Boards of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dollar Bank, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

Dr. Barazzone has received many honors for her work at Chatham and in the community, including History Maker in Education, Senator H. John Heinz III History Center (2006); the Vectors Pittsburgh Woman of the Year in Education (1999); and the YWCA Leadership Award in Education (1999).   Her work in international education has been recognized with the University Medal from Fatima Jinnah Women’s University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2001) and honorary doctorates from Seoul Women’s University in Seoul, Korea (2000) and Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, Japan (1999), as well as the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Outstanding Leadership for Peace and Humanitarianism from Morehouse College (2004).  She has also been recognized for her work on behalf of the advancement of women by the Susan B. Anthony Leadership Award from the Women’s Leadership Assembly (1999).

Dr. Barazzone holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in European Intellectual History from Columbia University, where she was a Fellow of the Faculty. Dr. Barazzone was a Charter Scholar in the first graduating class of New College in Sarasota, Fla., where she earned her B.A. in philosophy and history. She received a U.S. Student Fulbright award to Spain and studied at the Wharton School of Business Administration and at Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

About Chatham University
Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University has a deep institutional commitment to sustainability and the environment, global and intercultural education, and women’s leadership.  Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit