University of Pittsburgh
March 30, 2016

Vice Chancellor Novak to Take on New Role for University


Joe Miksch


Cell: 412-997-0314

PITTSBURGH—Albert J. Novak Jr., the University of Pittsburgh’s vice chancellor for institutional advancement since 2003, has asked to return to a core fundraising position for Pitt. A search for his successor will commence shortly, and he will remain in his current role until his replacement is named.

“Al Novak has led the advancement team through the Building Our Future Together Campaign, the most successful campaign in the University’s history and the largest ever in Western Pennsylvania. The campaign surpassed its goal of $2.135 billion from more than 189,000 donors,” says Pitt’s Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Al is respected by both our donors and the campus community. He is a terrific fundraiser, and I support his wish to return to a front-line position. I am pleased that he will continue to play such a critical role for our University.”

Novak joined the University in 1997 as the associate vice chancellor for corporate and foundation relations. He served as senior associate vice chancellor from 2000 to 2002 and interim vice chancellor in 2002 before formally assuming the position in 2003.

The institutional advancement program’s successes under Novak’s leadership include:

  • Raising more than $2.6 billion dollars in capital and annual contributions
  • Orchestrating 629 new donor-driven scholarships and fellowships representing over $237 million in direct support for students
  • Establishing more than 1,600 new endowments with endowed chairs topping 200
  • Securing 300 donors—including 90 first-time donors—who made major gifts of $1 million or more during the campaign
  • Supporting the creation of the Petersen Events Center, which was built with one of the largest individual gifts in Pitt’s history from John and Gertrude Petersen
  • Naming two schools: the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the John A. Swanson School of Engineering
  • Launching EngagePittTM, the University’s new crowdfunding tool, giving millennial donors a new vehicle to support their alma mater

In 2006, readers of The Pitt News voted Novak as best university administrator and the Pitt’s Board of Trustees recognized him for outstanding service to the University in 2014.

Novak is a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the CASE 50, the top fundraising organizations in higher education. He has spoken at numerous professional conferences related to fundraising, strategy, alumni relations, management, and fundraising analytics. He has launched a fellowship program in the Office of Institutional Advancement aimed at diversifying the profession. He also chairs the University’s Confucius Institute board, which has won the Confucius Institute of the Year award four times.

“I have asked Al to remain serving in his current role as vice chancellor for institutional advancement until we can conclude a successful search for his successor, and I am deeply grateful that he has agreed to do that,” says Chancellor Gallagher. “Thanks to Al’s leadership, we have a great platform for success. Now, we will turn to finding someone who can take Pitt to the next level in philanthropic support.”

“It has been a privilege to serve the University of Pittsburgh and our donors as vice chancellor for institutional advancement. My relationships with our trustees, alumni, donors, and the campus community have brought me an enormous sense of fulfillment and satisfaction,” says Novak. “I am grateful to Chancellor Gallagher for supporting my move back to working directly with our donors to advance our mission. I look forward to working with him, my colleagues across campus, and my successor on behalf of this great university.”