Gabel Becomes First Woman to Lead a University for 2nd Time in Her Life, First at Minnesota Now in Pittsburgh

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 05, 2023


Joan Gabel will leave the University of Minnesota System and Twin Cities campus, where she serves as president and chief executive, to become the 19th chancellor and first woman to lead the University of Pittsburgh since its establishment in 1787.

This is the second time Gabel is named the first woman president of a university. She was also the first woman to lead the University of Minnesota (U of M) since its founding in 1851, a role she took in 2019.

Gabel will take office in July this year following a vote on April 3 from the University’s Board of Trustees, reports.

“I am excited and filled with optimism when I think of leading this institution into its important next chapter — to taking leaps when needed, and incremental steps as necessary, to ensure that every step we take, however large or small, moves us forward,” she said.

Leaders across the University of Pittsburgh have applauded Gabel’s appointment, describing her as a natural leader and someone who reflects the vision of a major research university.

Trustee Eva Tansky Blum said it is luck to have Joan Gabel as Pitt’s president, confident that she will bring demonstrated success in higher education to the university.

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents Chair Ken Powell also praised Gabel’s work as UMN Twin Cities president, saying she has been at the top of the university during some of the most challenging times in its history.

“She expertly navigated a global pandemic and its continued disruptions, through a time of both seismic shifts in higher education and great change here in Minnesota,” Powell said.

Gabel earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford College and a Juris doctorate degree from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Prior to being appointed the University of Minnesota’s 17th president, Gabel was the University of South Carolina’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost between 2015 and 2019.

She also served as dean of the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri from 2010 to 2015.

The University of Pittsburgh is a 236-year old public institution, ranked among the top ten research institutions in the United States, which has nearly 20,000 undergraduate students, 7,023 graduates and 2,320 doctoral students.

>> Breaking Glass Ceiling: 60 Best Global Universities Led by Women

Image Source: University of Minnesota website

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