PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh has chosen a new chancellor.
Patrick D. Gallagher will take over as Chancellor in August, when Mark Nordenberg steps down.
Gallagher, 50, is currently the Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Gallagher is also an alumnus of Pitt, where he earned a Ph. D. in physics in 1991.
“It’s really wonderful to come back to an institution that I love so much, that plays such a key role in my life,” he said, “To come back to a city that has meant so much to me growing up, and studying here, and meeting my wife here, and it’s great to be back.”
Gallagher was appointed acting deputy secretary by President Obama in 2013.
He runs a federal agency with 40,000 employees whose mission is to help make American businesses become more innovative at home and more competitive abroad.
He says one of his strengths is an ability to form partnerships.
“We had to work with universities, we had to work with other agencies, we had to work with state governments, we had to work with other countries,” Dr. Gallagher said, “and what I hope I bring is really a capacity to collaborate and build those bridges because a university doesn’t sit by itself.”
Like Chancellor Nordenberg, one of his greatest challenges will be limiting tuition increases in the wake of rising operating costs and declining state support.
“I can tell you this will be and it’s part of the charge the trustees have given me to give this full consideration,” Dr. Gallagher said. “It’s a major issue.”
Nordenberg announced in June that he planned to step down in August.
The Pitt Trustees unanimously approved the decision to hire Gallagher as the new Chancellor during a special meeting Saturday morning.
Nordenberg has served as the school’s chancellor since 1995.
He says he will remain in Pittsburgh with plans to teach and become involved in other activities. He gave the incoming chancellor a huge vote of support.
“I know he is going to connect easily both within the campus and in the broader community and is going to be a great leader for Pittsburgh as well as for Pitt,” said Nordenberg.