Pitt Vice Chancellor Robert Hill stepping down after 14 years




After 14 years of serving as the University of Pittsburgh’s vice chancellor of Public Affairs, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg announced that Robert Hill will retire at the end of the month. He headed the office since 1999.


“The University of Pittsburgh provided me with a wonderful opportunity to contribute to its early-21stcentury momentum and progress,” Hill said in a press release. “I am fortunate to have led the effort to tell the remarkable Pitt story to its multiple audiences through simple media. Now I look forward to volunteering in support of worthy community causes.”


In his position, Hill is the chief communications officer, supervising the Departments of Executive Communications, National Media Relations, University Marketing Communications and University News and Magazines. He also oversees the university’s web presence, advertising, video communications, local media relations and many of the school’s publications.


Some of Hill’s many accomplishments include establishing and co-hosting the annual Black History Month program, later named the K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, where he featured many premieres of historical documentaries including “Fly Boys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskegee Airmen,” “Blue Gold & Black: From Doorway to Distinction “Newspaper of Record: The Pittsburgh Courier, 1707-1965; and the Telly Award-winning documentary “K. Leroy Irvis: The Lion of Pennsylvania, which he executive produced. He alsofounded the university’s first weekly newspaper the “Pitt Chronicle,” which he is currently the publisher of; received national and international attention for “Pitt Magazine” and “Pitt Med; and serving as executive-in-charge for the 2008-09 Pitt exhibition “Free at Last? Slavery in Pittsburgh in the 18th and 19th Centuries,” among many other things. The exhibition exposed the story of slavery in Pittsburgh during those times.


“Vice Chancellor Hill has brought a unique set of talents to his work, and together we have shared many satisfying victories. Among other advances, both the quality or our institutional publications and the impact of our community efforts stand out,” said Nordenberg in a press release. “To become even more specific, his leadership efforts in creating the ongoing K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program pushed well beyond most such efforts in identifying, presenting, and preserving important aspects of the Black history of our University and its home region.”


During Hill’s time at the school the University’s fundraising campaign grew to be the largest and most successful campaign in southwestern Pennsylvania due to the branding and communications support; the motto, “Leader in Education, Pioneer in Research, and Partner in Regional Development” was coined; the university’s advertising display presence was inaugurated at not only the Pittsburgh International Airport, but a lot of other newspaper publications; and the award-winning 2001 public information campaign supporting the Booster Booster program, which documented the second immunization of 11,000 Pittsburgh Public School District students.


Hill has been a higher education administrator since 1969. Prior to joining the University of Pitt
sburgh team, Hill
 served as vice president for university advancement at California University of Pennsylvania and he spent 21 years at Syracuse University, as the vice president for public relations. He earned a certificate in Management at Harvard; a Master of Science degree with honors from Manhattan College; a Bachelor of Science in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business; and an associate’s degree in Applied Science from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he was awarded the Dean’s Prize. In 1979 he was inducted into Delta Mu Delta and in 2009 he was admitted to Junta.


Recognitions for Hill’s work include being named the Renaissance Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Pittsburgh Chapter;numerous Council for Advancement and Support of Education awards; and he was the 2010 Pittsburgh Black Media Federation Robert L. Vann Communicator of the Year Award recipient, just to name a few.

Hill has written articles for many publications such, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the New Pittsburgh Courier, and served as publisher of several school publication series.


In his little free time, Hill serves as a board member of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and a member of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch’s Corporate Committee.


He is bright star who will be missed at the University.

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