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University of Pittsburgh

Mark A. Nordenberg

Mark A. Nordenberg is chancellor and chief executive officer of the University of Pittsburgh. In this role, he heads one of the nation’s leading public research universities and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains. Chancellor Nordenberg is the University’s 17th chancellor, and summer 2009 marked the 14th anniversary of his move into the chancellor’s office.

Chancellor Nordenberg came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1977, when he joined the Pitt law faculty. He served as dean of the School of Law from 1985 until 1993 and as interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1993 to 1994. In 1994, he was elevated to the special faculty rank of Distinguished Service Professor. The University’s Board of Trustees elected him interim chancellor in 1995 and chancellor a year later.

In a surprise announcement at the annual meeting of the University’s Board of Trustees in June 2005, then-Board Chair Ralph J. Cappy (who died May 1, 2009) announced the establishment of the endowed Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair to honor the chancellor’s 10 years of leadership. The chair, the first of its kind at Pitt, is supported by a $2.5 million endowment made possible by the generous donations of Pitt trustees, board members of the Pitt Alumni Association, and other Pitt alumni and friends, and will exist in perpetuity to advance faculty excellence at the University.

Chancellor Nordenberg is an award-winning teacher. He was the first recipient of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award, an award now presented annually by the Student Bar Association and the 1984 graduating class of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. In 1985, he was among the first recipients of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, recognizing teaching excellence University-wide. His area of scholarly specialty can be described broadly as civil litigation. He has published books, articles, and reports in that area and also has served as a member of both the U.S. Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee.

Wide Range of Civic Activities

The chancellor is involved in a wide range of civic activities, including service on a number of boards, among them:

  • Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • Association of American Universities
  • Big East Conference
  • Council on Competitiveness
  • Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education
  • Pittsburgh LifeSciences Greenhouse
  • The Technology Collaborative (Co-chair)
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

In 1997, Chancellor Nordenberg was honored as Person of the Year in Education by Vectors Pittsburgh. A year later, that same group selected him as Pittsburgh’s overall Person of the Year. In 1999, he was named as a Pittsburgh magazine Pittsburgher of the Year for his role as a policymaker and “champion of regionalism.”

Chancellor Nordenberg shared Pittsburgh magazine’s Pittsburgher of the Year award with Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon in 2001. The award recognized the cooperative accomplishments of Nordenberg and Cohon in regional development initiatives.

In 2003, Chancellor Nordenberg and President Cohon shared honors again when they received the Person of Vision award, which is presented to outstanding community leaders by Pittsburgh Vision Services. Chancellor Nordenberg also has consistently been named one of the region’s top 10 business leaders by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Among Chancellor Nordenberg’s more recent awards are the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District II; the Nellie Leadership Award from Three Rivers Youth; the Kesher Award from the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, an award that he shared with Carnegie Mellon University President Cohon; the Bnai Zion Humanitarian Award from the Bnai Zion Foundation; the Homer S. Brown Law Association Spirit Award; and the Senator John Heinz History Center's History Makers Award (Education). The chancellor chaired a Citizens Advisory Committee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of City-County Government, which issued a report of its findings in April 2008, and he was selected to co-chair a search committee for the current commissioner of the Big East Conference.