University of Pittsburgh
December 9, 2001

Robert Hill Named Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs at Pitt

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Robert Hill, executive director of Public Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh since October 1999 and the University's spokesman, has been named vice chancellor for Public Affairs at Pitt, effective immediately.

In making the announcement, Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said, "Since he joined us two years ago, Robert has had a substantial impact on the University and the broader community. Most basically, he has enhanced our communications efforts and expanded their reach. Because Pitt is the source of so much good and interesting news, that work is very important. He also has connected in meaningful ways to the people and institutions of our home region, which is part of the tradition of leadership at this University."

Since assuming direction of Public Affairs at Pitt two years ago, Hill has expanded and reorganized the division, creating the Executive Communications unit, which comprises the award-winning Pitt and PittMed magazines and the writing of other official University communications; a marketing communications unit that combines the functions of the former University Relations and Graphics, Marketing, and Printing units; and a newly expanded News, Information, and National Media Relations unit, which, among other things, publishes the first official weekly newspaper in the University's history, the award-winning Pitt Campaign Chronicle, established by Hill last October. In July 2000, he became publisher of the University Times. He also put into place a three-year strategic Web site development initiative.

Hill recently conceived, executive produced, and narrated a documentary video on the African American student heritage at the University of Pittsburgh; this video is being used to reconnect Pitt's African American alumni and was cosponsored by the University's Office of Alumni Relations and Office of Institutional Advancement.

Hill has been an administrator in higher education for 32 years, 21 of them at Syracuse University (SU), where he had served as vice president and special assistant to the chancellor for affirmative action from 1977 to 1988, vice president for program development from 1982 to 1988, and vice president for public relations from 1988 to 1998.

While at Syracuse, he created Coming Back Together, an award-winning model program for reaching out to, and attracting scholarship support from, African American and Latino alumni; it has been copied by other universities nationwide. He supervised as publisher a number of award-winning publications, including Syracuse University Magazine and the weekly faculty-staff newspaper, the Record; he also supervised a video unit through which he won four Telly awards and executive produced an award-winning monthly television magazine, "Leading Edge." His work in creating and implementing a strategic communications plan for SU led to a Gold Medal Award for Overall Institutional Relations Programs from the international Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In addition, he was a faculty member for eight years, serving as an assistant professor of retailing in SU's College for Human Development.

Immediately prior to joining the Pitt administration, Hill was vice president for university advancement at California University of Pennsylvania (CUP), where he was responsible for external relations, development, public relations, the Foundation of California University of Pennsylvania, the Mon Valley Renaissance economic development program, and the University Art Gallery. He founded CUP's first official faculty-staff newspaper, the California Journal, and established a Pittsburgh-based annual fund-raising gala for student scholarships.

Hill earned the Associate in Applied Science in Business Technology degree with a concentration in marketing from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, which awarded him its Dean's Prize; the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from New York University's Stern School of Business, where he was a William Prentice Ettinger Scholar and a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar; the Master of Science in Management degree with honors from Manhattan College; and the Certificate in Management from Harvard University.

Hill has written a number of articles for newspapers and other publications, including the New Pittsburgh Courier, the Pan African Studies Newsletter, the American Association for Affirmative Action Newsletter, and the Syracuse Herald-Journal. He has also given presentations for the annual international conferences of the Public Relations Society of America and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Hill has been extremely active in public service throughout his career.

At Syracuse, he was for nine years president of the board of the Community Folk Art Gallery, which he continues to serve as a board member; a board member, vice president, and president of the Boys and Girls Club; a board member of the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company; and a board member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

In southwestern Pennsylvania, he is a member of the selection committee for the Pittsburgh Young Women's Christian Association Racial Justice Award, a member of the corporate committee of the Pittsburgh Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, chair of the media and public relations committee of the Greater Pittsburgh Measles Immunization Task Force, a board member of the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, and an advisory board member of Pitt's annual Jazz Seminar and Concert. Last year, he served on the marketing committee of the United Way of Allegheny County.