An Interview with Esther Barazzone
President Emerita of Chatham University (2 of 2)
New Books Network 2021
Esther Barazzone describes the latter part of the transformation she led at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. In a whirlwind of activity in 2007-08, Chatham changed its status from a college to a university, to reflect the fact that a majority of its students were in graduate programs, and then made two major acquisitions – an $18 million investment in a 300,000+ sq. ft old manufacturing building in a struggling neighborhood 1-mile from its Shadyside Campus that became home to its graduate health science and interior architecture programs and the gift of 388-acre Eden Hall Farm, that was transformed over the next 8 years into the world’s greenest campus and the home for the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment. The final chapter in Barazzone’s transformation of Chatham came in 2014-15, with the difficult decision that the only way to save the undergraduate college was for it go all-gender. Barazzone describes the careful planning that went into the successful co-ed transition and offers her lessons from her 24-year career for new college presidents.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.