Chatham University

Campus Event & Video


Remarks from Dr. Esther Barazzone, Chatham University President

Thank you all for coming here today on this momentous and positive day in Chatham's history! The air is simply electric!

I am pleased and proud to open this program in which we announce and welcome the president designate of Chatham University who will be introduced to those of you present, those on line, in just a moment by our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jennifer Potter.

With the privilege of incumbency, I would like to make just a few observations before our board chair introduces us to our stellar leader-to-be.

First, we all owe a special debt of gratitude to the exceptional corps of volunteers who executed this search. Sixteen total members... nine members of the Board of Trustees, four faculty, one administrator, and two students. They have labored conscientiously and long – very long – to find a leader worthy of this institution that is almost 150 years old, but nonetheless even measures TIME in its own terms! For those of you new to our lingo and community, when we say “Chatham time”... we mean a fast turn-around compared with normal academic processes. They worked hard to find a suitable president for this institution–an institution that is in very good shape and adjudged to be one of the most forward looking ones around. They needed to find someone who could preserve and yet push forward even more the initiatives and positive momentum we have–and add some besides. Thank you to all and to each of you for your exceptional work which has borne such good fruit.

I want to assure all of you of my ongoing support, enthusiasm and commitment for the person you are about to meet. The credentials of our president to be are excellent, the personality and values, outstanding, for this institution at this time.

There is another person here today who has served the role of president of this institution – Louse Royster Brown, whom I would like to have stand and be recognized. Louise Brown had the tough task of being an interim and yet had to lead us through one of the most difficult periods in our history as acting president from 1990-91. And she did a superb job. The presence of three generations of leaders reminds us that leadership change is normal and to be looked forward to. THIS change brings us a president who is smart, and while very educated, still imaginative; it brings us someone who is experienced and yet fresh. I think he has a great grasp of where we have been and great ideas for where we might go. I look forward to cheering everyone on and assisting in any way that I might be able to do in the bright future for Chatham University and its new president.

And now, the moment you have been waiting for...Jennifer Potter, please come forward. Thank you.

Remarks from Jennifer Potter '66, Chair of Chatham's Board of Trustees

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I'd like thank all of the students, staff, and faculty here in attendance and those joining via our live stream at home for today's All-Campus Update.

Following the announcement last summer of Dr. Barazzone's retirement this upcoming June, the Board of Trustees formed a Presidential Search Committee to initiate the search process for the next President of Chatham. The Search Committee was carefully selected to represent a cross-section of our community and included members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, current students and alumnae.

The Search Committee is assembled here today and I'd like to ask them to stand so they can be recognized for their time, commitment and important work on this initiative. I'd also like to give a special thanks to the Co-Chairs of the Search Committee: Jane Burger and Jane Murphy who are also Chatham alumnae and members of the Board of Trustees. Thank you for your leadership and commitment to the Presidential Search Committee and to Chatham.

In addition to the Search Committee, Chatham was assisted in our search by one of the world's leading executive search firms, Spencer Stuart. In September, Spencer Stuart led a series of on-campus community listening sessions with faculty, staff, students and alumni. A website was also established for anyone in our community to submit their thoughts on what to look for in Chatham's next president. Incorporating the feedback heard during this input period, Chatham's Presidential Search Committee and Spencer Stuart began the search for Chatham's next President. Our search drew a very strong and diverse pool of candidates who were drawn to Chatham for its reputation as being on an upward trajectory, for our commitment to innovation, and our location in the desirable and dynamic city of Pittsburgh. Throughout the winter, the Search Committee reviewed and interviewed candidates for this position as they worked to fulfill their charge, which was to recommend to the Board of Trustees a qualified candidate or candidates for the position of President of Chatham University.

The objective was to find the top candidate for the position who possessed:

  • A deep commitment to academic excellence, liberal arts education and student achievement and outcomes
  • Demonstrated leadership and creative vision
  • Personal characteristics and aspirations that align with our Chatham community values

  • In addition, the committee and the Board of Trustees were looking for a president who can lead Chatham into the future by helping lead our efforts to:

    1. Reimagine undergraduate and graduate education for the needs of today's students and employers
    2. Expand our emerging leadership and reputation in the field of sustainability;
    3. Activate and connect our three locations, including the new Eden Hall Campus, across our community;
    4. Foster a global perspective in our students and educational offerings, and;
    5. Maintain our historic and future commitment (on campus and through the Women's Institute and Centers) to the issues of gender equity, women and inclusiveness.

    Standing here today, I'm absolutely delighted to report that the Presidential Search Committee was unanimous in their recommendation for a presidential candidate who meets all of these characteristics and criteria. They presented their findings to the board this week, and earlier this morning the board voted to approve Dr. David Finegold as the 19th president of Chatham University.

    David and his wife, Sue, are sitting here in the front and I'd like to ask them to stand to be recognized before I tell you more about David and then ask him to come up and say a few words. Please join me in welcoming David and Susan Finegold to join the Chatham family!

    Now I want to tell you a little bit more about David. He comes to us with nearly 30 years of experience in higher education as a researcher, author, professor, academic dean, senior vice president and chief academic officer. He is a renowned scholar and educational innovator who has dedicated his career to education reform, the design of high-performance organizations, and extensive research on education and skill-creation systems around the world.

    Dr. Finegold graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1985, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he received his Ph.D. in Politics in 1992.

    He began his career as a senior research fellow in the Centre for Education and Industry at Warwick University in England. He then spent four years as a social scientist for the RAND Corporation's Institute on Education and Training, a unit dedicated to improving worldwide education policy and decision-making.

    This early experience soon led to faculty positions: first, at the Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, then as a founding faculty member of the life sciences-focused Keck Graduate Institute (KGI). This 7th of the Claremont Colleges in California features rigorous curricula, personalized instruction, and intensive faculty/student interactions in a vibrant residential college community.

    From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Finegold was Dean of the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) where he led the faculty in the study of people, organizations, and the changing nature of work. He helped enhance the schools leading position in the study of the benefits of building more inclusive organizations, by increasing the diversity of the faculty, helping to create a program for developing women leaders in STEM, hosting New Jersey's Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education, and supporting the expansion of The Center for Women and Work.

    As Dean, he increased the number of faculty by 25%, grew financial reserves by over 500%, and increased the endowment by more than 600%. He added successful new degree programs, fostered increased collaboration with industry leaders and other stakeholders across New Jersey, and helped design a range of successful executive education offerings in Strategic Healthcare Management and BioPharma Innovation.

    In 2011, Dr. Finegold was promoted to Senior Vice President for Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth at Rutgers University. In this role, he led a range of key initiatives, including overseeing international programs and the Division of Continuing Studies, expanding Rutgers' partnerships with New Jersey community colleges, and growing Rutgers Online.

    Taking leave from Rutgers in 2013, he currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer of American Honors, an entrepreneurial organization that seeks to improve the quality and affordability of undergraduate education by building honors programs with community colleges across the country. This innovative model is focused on reducing inequality, promoting student success, lowering student debt, and ensuring successful transfer from community college to a network of over 75 leading public and private college and university partners. At American Honors, he is responsible for building the four-year partnership network, international strategy and partnerships, research, and working with colleagues on the overall academic experience.

    Dr. Finegold, is a prolific writer of both professional and popular publications, and has authored or co-authored a number of books and monographs. In addition to his comparative research on education and training, his work has focused on new, more sustainable economic models for creating value, such as B-Corporations, public-private partnerships, venture philanthropy and social investing. He has been a frequent keynote speaker at conferences around the world, and has provided policy advice and research on skills issues to governments around the world. Originally from New York, NY, Dr. Finegold and his wife, Susan, a native of England, are the parents of a son, Sam, a graduate of Harvard, and a daughter, Charlotte, currently a junior at Yale.

    On July 1, 2016, Dr. Finegold will become the 19th president of Chatham University. He will join a group of distinguished men and women who have served as president of this historic Pittsburgh institution going all the way back to 1869, including our last male president, the beloved Ted Eddy, who served from 1960-1977. On this historic day at Chatham, a quote from Dr. Eddy seems quite appropriate. He said, "We will serve the future not by perpetuating the past, but by our readiness to constantly fulfill new demands with courage and imagination."

    It is very much in this spirit that the Board and Search Committee set out to find an innovative and creative leader who would be respectful of our past while embracing a bold new future for our University. We were guided in our efforts by the strong recommendation from the campus community sessions and the Board that Chatham should in the end, choose the best candidate who meets these criteria regardless of their gender. A president whom for whatever the future may bring, shares our belief in a strong and ongoing commitment to the issues of women's leadership and gender as realized on campus, with our Women's Institute, and through our outreach centers in entrepreneurship and politics.

    Please help me welcome to the stage, the next president of Chatham University, Dr. David Finegold.

    Thank you David. I know I speak for the whole Chatham community when I say, we look forward to getting to know you and Sue better, and working with you to chart a bold and bright future for Chatham University.

    I'd also like to reiterate David's invitation to please stop by the Mellon 1st floor living room area today from two to three-thirty to introduce yourself to Sue and David before they have to head out for China later this evening. In addition, I wanted to let you know that David is going to be back on campus to meet with faculty at a faculty meeting later this spring. Dr. Templeton will have more details on this meeting in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned.

    Finally, be sure to save your date for the All-Campus Celebration of Dr. Barazzone's retirement in the AFC on Tuesday, April 12th following closing convocation. We have a lot of really great stuff planned and you will not want to miss it.

    Thank you and have a wonderful afternoon.

    Remarks from Dr. David Finegold

    Thank you Jennifer and Esther for your kind words and support. Also, thank you to members of the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this unique opportunity. Let me congratulate you on the tremendous leadership you have shown over the last nearly quarter century to help Chatham thrive and grow in a very challenging higher education environment.

    I'm deeply honored and excited to become the 19th President of Chatham University. Sue and I are very much looking forward to getting to know all of you and becoming active participants in the Chatham community starting this July.

    Since its founding in 1869, Chatham has been a champion for creating educational opportunity and access. Before the Pennsylvania College for Women opened its doors, there were very few opportunities for talented young women in this state to go to college. Today, as we approach Chatham's 150th anniversary, the world looks very different. Women far outnumber men at every level of higher education, from undergrad to professional schools and PhDs, and are outperforming them academically.

    But while women have more than attained equality in the classroom, the same does not hold true when they enter the workplace. From the boardroom to public office, women are still woefully under-represented. Here in the U.S., we are still far from attaining equal pay for equal work, and around the world, we know that lack of equal access to education for young women is one of the greatest obstacles to enhancing social justice and economic development.

    On the last point, if you haven't read it, I encourage you to have a look at the latest Annual Letter from Bill and Melinda Gates. It is a great illustration of how Chatham's core missions – Sustainability, Global Perspective and Gender Equity – are all deeply connected. In their letter, each responds to a question from a high school student on what Superpower they would choose. Bill's is More Energy (a call not just for cutting Greenhouse emissions, but for investing in research to create a carbon-free future, a dream that might seem impossible until one realizes we're already living it at Chatham's Eden Hall campus). And Melinda wishes for More Time, specifically more time for young women in the developing world to free them from required, unpaid work for their families, so they can pursue more education, careers, etc. As she notes, the main way to make this happen is for men to share more equally in the work of their households and society. This suggests one additional benefit of Chatham becoming a co-ed institution that is a leader in promoting gender equity: the chance to champion equal rights by changing behavioral norms for both men and women.

    Like the spirit of Chatham's founding, my whole career has been spent trying to find ways to expand educational opportunity. From my graduate work in the UK in the 1980s, where I was surprised to learn that over half of young people left school at 16 and only 10% were going to university. My work challenged the conventional wisdom that working class young people weren't interested in further higher education, arguing that if you changed the policies and incentives that you could change behavior. The cool thing was that these arguments gained traction, major reforms were introduced and today, just one generation later, a higher percentage of young Brits get a degree than in the US.

    Most recently, I have been serving as the founding Chief Academic Officer for American Honors, a new initiative to tackle the major problems we face in US higher ed today – growing inequality, exploding student debt, and low completion rates – by building the first national network connecting honors programs at community colleges with the top public and private colleges and universities. As Chatham's President I will continue to do all I can to champion ways to expand access to the great education Chatham offers for talented students and to expand the diversity of the faculty so it matches that of the students we teach.

    One of the things that most attracted me to Chatham is its history of innovation – the willingness to take risks and continuously reinvent itself, particularly over the last 2 decades. Given the tremendous pace of change and wide range of promising initiatives already underway, I see my initial role as President not to chart a radical new course, but rather to help see these key strategic initiatives through to completion by:

    • Completing the bold reform and reimagining of undergraduate and graduate education begun this past year;
    • Continuing the record growth in undergraduate enrollment and retention that started this Fall, while increasing the quality of the student experience;
    • Broadening access to Chatham's high quality education by increasing scholarship support for deserving undergraduate and graduate students;
    • Helping each of the new Schools to flourish and develop distinctive areas of competence and new programs that respond to the changing needs of the marketplace and our students;
    • Realizing the full potential of the Eden Hall campus and the Falk School to help Chatham to become The Go To place for developing eco-minded, engaged citizens and leaders, and in the process be recognized as a leader in Sustainability here in Pittsburgh, nationally and globally;
    • Further broadening access for adult learners and expanding our geographic reach by growing Chatham Online;
    • Increasing the diversity of our campus community by building strategic partnerships with community colleges here in Pittsburgh and across the country and educational institutions around the world to build joint programs and recruit talented students;
    • Enhancing Chatham's well-deserved reputation for academic excellence by furthering support for faculty research and scholarship;
    • Continuing the Chatham mission of promoting gender equity by supporting and expanding the Women's Institute and its affiliated Centers while building strategic partnership and outreach on these issues;
    • Engaging Chatham's alums and other stakeholders by connecting them with our students, faculty and the fascinating range of activities at Chatham they are passionate about.

    As you can tell, there is no shortage of work to be done. But continuing to operate at Chatham Time, I have no doubt that together we can make progress in all these areas and develop new innovations as well.

    Over the coming months I look forward to meeting with all of you to get your ideas and suggestions so together we can refine this vision for Chatham's future and identify where we want to focus our efforts and resources to maximize our impact. Look out for Town Halls, surveys, focus groups and invitations to tea and yoga at our house where we can discuss these exciting ideas for Chatham's future.

    I'm sorry that I won't be able to stay longer on this trip, as I have to get on a plane tomorrow morning for a two-week trip to China, but would like to invite you all to join us for a Reception on the first floor of the Mellon building from two to three-thirty today to say hello and introduce yourself.

    Thanks again for this unique opportunity. Sue and I can't wait to get started.