University of Pittsburgh
January 11, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 12 -- John D. Harvith, executive director for national media relations at Syracuse University, has been named assistant vice chancellor for national media relations in the Public Affairs division of the University of Pittsburgh. His appointment, which is effective March 1, 2001, was announced by Robert Hill, executive director of public affairs.

As assistant vice chancellor for national media relations, Harvith will direct the University's national news program, with the aim of substantially raising the University's positive visibility in the major national media. His responsibilities will include developing a strategy for institutional reputation management, and developing and placing national stories that demonstrate the University's excellence in research, education, and regional development.

Harvith has headed the national media relations office at Syracuse since 1990. Prior to that, he held positions as assistant director, public information, and director, news services, University of California at Santa Cruz; director of news services, Oberlin College; director of public relations, Interlochen Center for the Arts; and cultural affairs writer, University of Michigan. He has also served as Michigan correspondent for High Fidelity/Musical America, and as music critic for the Ann Arbor News.

Among his many professional honors are Gold Medal Awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for both general news writing and public relations programs, and the CASE Exceptional Achievement Award for special projects. He is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment, and is a member of CASE and the Music Critics Association of North America.

Harvith earned his A.B. in music history with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he also received first prize in the Nathan Burkan Memorial Copyright Competition. He has also studied piano at the University of Michigan, the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and the Chautauqua Institution.

Harvith and his wife, Syracuse adjunct professor Susan Edwards Harvith, are film, photography, music, and television historians, and exhibition curators. They are the co-authors of two books: Karl Struss: Man with a Camera, which rediscovered the early still photography of the legendary Hollywood cinematographer; and Edison, Musicians, and the Phonograph, the first oral history of the phonograph, including interviews with 46 recording figures, among them Aaron Copland, Benny Goodman, and Vladimir Horowitz. Their rediscovery exhibition of Struss photographs toured coast-to-coast, appearing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the International Center of Photography in New York, Cranbrook Academy of Art/Museum in Michigan, and Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y. CBS's "Sunday Morning" featured the Harviths as the rediscoverers of Struss in a fall 1995 segment on the photographer-cinematographer.

Since 1997, the Harviths have interviewed more than 50 television pioneers for Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular Television, among them Bea Arthur, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Jackie Cooper, Nanette Fabray, Betty Garrett, Larry Gelbart, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Don Knotts, Norman Lear, Art Linkletter, Howard Morris, Louis Nye, Carl Reiner, Fred Silverman, Jean Stapleton, and Bud Yorkin.