Retiring President Sharon P. Smith Praised for Strengthening Pitt–Greensburg

Sharon P. Smith announced she will retire as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, effective June 30, 2019, after serving as the campus’s leader since 2007.

“Sharon has done everything that — more than a decade ago — she set out to accomplish,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “She has forged powerful ties with the local community. She has strengthened Pitt–Greensburg’s impact across the state. And she has made insightful, meaningful investments in our students and their lifelong success. I look forward to celebrating her career and am honored to serve as her colleague for yet another year.”

As Pitt–Greensburg’s fourth president, Smith has built academic and student programs that position graduates for future success and established Pitt–Greensburg as the University’s second-largest regional campus with more than 1,500 full-time and part-time undergraduate students. She led the transformation of the liberal arts programs by integrating them with digital learning, and introduced new majors in nursing, health care management, public policy, education and Spanish, as well as four new certificate programs. The campus currently offers 29 undergraduate majors along with 24 minors.

“I’m proud of the team that is in place at Pitt–Greensburg,” said Smith. “I feel really good about the programs in place that are right for the students who will thrive here and in the community.”

She added: “It was and is important for us to be dynamic and agile with implementing programs that students need and want — programs that will make a difference for the students and in the world.”

Other accomplishments include the establishment of the Center for Applied Research and the Center for the Digital Text and the expansion of internships and other experiential learning options. Physical changes to campus during her tenure include the construction of Frank A. Cassell Hall, which received a LEED Gold designation for sustainable design and construction.

“It has been a privilege and an inspiration to serve as president — working together with our advisory board, faculty, staff and community to nurture our students and help them realize their dreams,” Smith said.

“Sharon’s energy, enthusiasm and leadership have left an imprint on the Greensburg campus, the University and the Greensburg community that will be felt for many years to come,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “Her generosity in sharing her expertise has been valuable to all of us fortunate enough to work with her. She will be missed.”

Community advocate

Beyond her Pitt role, Smith also has shared her expertise with the community through her service on the boards of Excela Health (including as board chair), Economic Growth Connection, Smart Growth and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust. She has brought to these boards extensive experience as an economist and prior service as a governor of the Security Traders Association, a trustee of St. Barnabas Hospital, chair of the Partners in Health Board of Trustees, president of the Nasdaq Educational Foundation Inc. and a governor of the National Association of Securities Dealers. In addition, she has remained active with the TIAA Institute.

“Pitt–Greensburg has been so fortunate to have grown and flourished under Dr. Smith’s inspirational leadership,” said Terri Glenn Petrick, chair of the Excela Health Board of Trustees who graduated from Pitt–Greensburg with a bachelor’s degree in business. “As an alumna and member of the advisory board, it has been gratifying to experience the campus development and student enrichment and know that Sharon has been the wind beneath the wings of Pitt–Greensburg over the past decade. Sharon has been a friend and mentor to many of us in the community where she likewise graciously shared her talents outside of the academic environment.”

Distinguished career

In her previous position at National University and the National University System, Smith served as provost and vice president for academic affairs and vice chancellor for academic affairs, respectively. Prior to that, she served as professor of management systems and dean of the College of Business Administration and Graduate School of Business Administration — now the Gabelli School of Business — at Fordham University.

She was a visiting fellow with the ILR School at Cornell University and a visiting senior research economist for Princeton University. Smith also held positions with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and AT&T. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Rutgers University, where she also earned her MA and PhD degrees in economics.

She has published more than 40 professional articles and book reviews and is the author or co-author of three books or monographs: “Equal Pay in the Public Sector: Fact or Fantasy,” “Faculty Retirement in the Arts and Sciences” and “Finding the Best Business School for You: Looking Past the Rankings.”

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