Chatham News

Chatham University Announces Initial Academic Reorganization Decisions and New Leadership Appointments

PITTSBURGH – Chatham University announced today initial academic reorganization decisions and new leadership appointments emerging from the resolution adopted on May 1, 2014 by Chatham’s Board of Trustees to “implement coeducation at the undergraduate level and reorganize Chatham University by academic units within vertically integrated Colleges and Schools.”

These decisions include leadership promotions for two, new Deans, the selection of an Interim Vice-President of Academic Affairs and the creation of two new schools—a School of Health Sciences and a School of Arts, Science & Business—as part of the academic reorganization. The Falk School of Sustainability already exists within this structure. These may be subject to some revision, such as the final determination of the school names and/or programs contained within, as planning and implementation work proceeds with the University Committee and faculty.


“With the creation of these new schools and the appointment of these leadership positions, Chatham sets in motion the transformation that will create a stronger student experience, new faculty opportunities and closer collaboration between Chatham’s graduate and undergraduate programs. I look forward to working with these leaders and the entire Chatham community as we chart this exciting path forward,” states Chatham University President, Esther Barazzone.

The new leadership appointments being announced include:

Dr. Pat Downey, part of Chatham’s faculty since 1994 and the Director of Chatham’s Physical Therapy Program since 2005, will be promoted to the inaugural Dean of the School of Health Sciences. Dr. Downey has been a practicing physical therapist for over 30 years specializing in orthopedics and women’s health. She has an advanced masters degree in orthopedic physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh and was a certified orthopedic clinical specialist. She also has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in physical anthropology with an emphasis in functional anatomy and morphology. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and Pennsylvania Physical Therapy Association and belongs to the Orthopedic, Education and Women’s Health Sections of the APTA. She was awarded the 2013 “MaryLou Barnes Award for Distinguished Professional Service” Alumni Award presented to an alumnus of the West Virginia University Physical Therapy Program for a distinguished career.

“Dr. Downey brings a wealth of experience as a faculty member, administrator and long-time campus leader to her new position. With nearly 50% of our graduate enrollments each year in the health sciences, we are thrilled that she will be overseeing the new school, leading the effort to further expand Chatham’s offerings, and continue to increase our reputation as a leader in producing sought-after health science professionals,” said Dr. Barazzone.

Dr. Darlene Motley, currently the Dean of Chatham College for Graduate Studies, will be the inaugural Dean of the School of Arts, Science & Business, where she will oversee the majority of Chatham’s current undergraduate programs as well as several graduate programs in the Sciences and Business.  Dr. Motley joined Chatham in 2013 after successive career progressions at Robert Morris University (RMU) serving most recently as the Associate Dean for the Business School. In addition to her role as Associate Dean, her career at RMU included roles as faculty, Assistant Professor, full Professor, Program Director of Human Resource Management and the Department Chair of Management. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior with a minor in International Business from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago where she also completed an exchange at the London Business School, London England, and a B.S in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

“Dr. Motley has distinguished herself as the Dean of Chatham’s College for Graduate Studies since joining Chatham. She will play an integral role in leading and overseeing our high-quality liberal arts and business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. We look forward to her continued excellence and leadership as she undertakes this new and important position,” said Dr. Barazzone.

In addition to these two Dean-level leadership appointments, Dr. Jenna Templeton, currently the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, will serve as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) upon the departure of current VPAA, Dr. Wenying Xu, in June 2014.  Prior to serving as the Assistant VPAA, Dr. Templeton was Assistant Dean in the College of Continuing & Professional Studies (CCPS) and College of Graduate Studies. Before joining Chatham in 2011, Dr. Templeton was Director of Online Academic and Support Services at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Since 1996 at the Art Institute she also served as Associate Dean of Distance Education; Director of Student Life; Disability Services Coordinator; and Counselor. She earned an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership for Higher Education at Nova Southeastern University; an M.Ed. in Counselor Education for Rehabilitation Counseling and BA in Psychology at Penn State University.

“Dr. Templeton has been an important part of the administration serving in a variety of progressively important roles and overall institutional leadership including overseeing program assessment, accreditation and the support of Chatham’s faculty and academic programs,” states Dr. Barazzone. “Her experience and knowledge of our organization will ensure a seamless transition in leadership,and help move along the creative reorganization of the institution.”

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