University of Pittsburgh
February 3, 2012

Former Pitt Administrator Jack E. Freeman Dies at Age 80

Held a series of high-level administrative positions at the University, including service as president of Pitt-Johnstown

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Jack E. Freeman, who held a series of high-level administrative positions at the University of Pittsburgh between 1967 and 1990—including service as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from 1971 to 1974—passed away Jan. 24 at the age of 80 following a brief illness.

Freeman resigned his commission in the U.S. Air Force in 1967 to accept a position at the University’s Pittsburgh campus, where he joined then-Chancellor Wesley W. Posvar, who was a longtime friend of Freeman’s and his mentor at the Air Force Academy. Freeman served as executive assistant to Posvar and secretary to the Pitt Board of Trustees. He became Pitt-Johnstown’s second president in 1971.
In 1974, Freeman returned to the Pittsburgh campus as vice chancellor for planning and budget. In 1977, he earned his PhD at Pitt in higher education administration, and he was named senior vice chancellor for administration two years later. He also served as executive vice president for the University from 1986 until his resignation in 1990.
Following his Pitt career, Freeman served as executive vice president at Temple University, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at Cornell University, and he worked as a higher education management consultant until his retirement in 2006.
Under Freeman’s administration, Pitt-Johnstown established five academic divisions (education, engineering technology, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences) and began offering its first four-year degrees. He also established its faculty senate, held its first academic convocation, and broke ground for its Engineering and Science Building. Freeman’s tenure at Pitt-Johnstown also saw the university’s first Homecoming celebration and the addition of wrestling as a third intercollegiate sport.
Freeman is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty Hawling Freeman; sons Jack, David, and Mark Freeman; daughter Melissa Emanuele; and seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Arrangements are through the Hall Funeral Home in Purcellville, Va.