An Interview with Esther Barazzone
President Emerita of Chatham University (1 of 2)
New Books Network 2021
When Esther Barazzone took over Chatham College in 1992, it was in danger of closing – selling off property each year surrounding its beautiful in Pittsburgh, PA campus to cover its budget shortfall. In this episode, she describes the first stages of her remarkable 24-year tenure that transformed Chatham from a small, all women’s liberal arts college of fewer than 600 students into a thriving 2200+ university with three campuses and innovative online doctoral degree programs. She discusses the educational and career experiences that gave her the capabilities needed to save Chatham and some of the difficult decisions to make this possible – including cutting 20% of faculty and staff in her first year to free the resources needed to launch graduate programs and the first NCAA women’s ice hockey program in Pennsylvania, and phasing out tenure to replace it with long-term, renewable contracts.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.