University of Pittsburgh
June 5, 2006

President of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown to Retire

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Albert L. Etheridge, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, has announced that he will retire from that position, effective June 30, 2007.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg praised both the commitment and the contributions Etheridge has made to Pitt-Johnstown.

"During his tenure as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Dr. Etheridge consistently has affirmed that UPJ is grounded both in the creation of individual opportunity and in the strengthening of its home community," said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A Nordenberg. "He also has overseen a period of dramatic institutional growth, fostered a culture that encourages inspiring examples of individual success, and created an environment that carries with it the promise of even more momentous days to come at Pitt-Johnstown."

"I have very much enjoyed working with President Etheridge," said Pitt Provost James V. Maher. "Under his leadership, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has developed the quality and size of its undergraduate student program and its physical facilities. He has shown unerring attention to the campus's mission to provide a high-quality education at a reasonable cost and to contribute to the important regional agenda of economic development."

At UPJ, Etheridge has directed more than $20 million to improvements, with significant investments in academic facilities and residence halls, including Blackington Hall and Willow Residence Hall. He helped establish the school's $10 million capital campaign, which has reached 90 percent of its original goal while creating five new giving traditions. He also created the UPJ Excellence in Teaching and Service Awards, which recognize the value of faculty and staff contributions; established the school's chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society; and initiated a study that determined that Pitt-Johnstown's annual economic impact on its region is $60 million and 600 jobs.

Under his leadership, Pitt-Johnstown has been recognized in the U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" rankings as being third in the northern region among the top public institutions in the sub-category, Comprehensive Colleges/Bachelor's, in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Etheridge also has served as a key contributor to the life of the Johnstown community, serving on the boards of Memorial and Good Samaritan Hospitals, the Joint Executive Committee of the Conemaugh Health System, the Community Foundation of Johnstown, the United Way of Greater Johnstown, and the Johnstown Area Regional Industries. Recently, he was one of just 14 college presidents from the United States to participate in an inaugural meeting of Cuban and U.S. colleges and universities to further develop an academic exchange between the two countries.

Etheridge received the B.S. degree in biology from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, the M.S. degree in biology at the University of Mississippi, and the Ph.D. degree in zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. He began his faculty career at Louisiana State University and subsequently served as a visiting associate professor of zoology at the University of Texas at Austin and as professor of biology and then head of the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM), which selected him as its 2005 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. He became vice chancellor for academic affairs and graduate dean at UAM before accepting the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. He was appointed the fourth president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1994.

A search committee will be formed with the goal of identifying Etheridge's successor by the next spring.