Carlow University Board of Trustees Announces Kathy W. Humphrey, PhD, as the 11th President of Carlow University

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Unanimous Vote of Approval from the Board Follows a National Search for the Next President of Carlow

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University is pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has named Kathy W. Humphrey, PhD, as the 11th President of Carlow University. She was recommended to the Board by the Presidential Search Committee following a national search. The Board’s vote was unanimous.

“After a robust national search, Dr. Humphrey emerged as an extraordinary leader who will propel Carlow into the future,” said Board Chair Dorothy A. Davis JD. “Her dynamic vision will inspire and motivate Carlow students, faculty, and the larger University community with her courageous voice, effective skills and engaged involvement.

Dr. Humphrey comes to Carlow with 30 years of leadership experience in higher education, a deep commitment to student success and experience, and a strong allegiance to Carlow’s core Catholic Mercy values, especially regarding matters of social justice, equity and inclusion.

Carlow President Suzanne K. Mellon said Dr. Humphrey is the right person at the right time to lead the University forward. “She understands the important role Carlow plays in the Pittsburgh region and will continue to build upon this progressive, innovative institution rooted in the values of our founders,” Mellon said.

“I am elated and honored to have been asked to lead an institution so committed to providing transformational learning opportunities for its students,” said Dr. Humphrey. “Carlow’s commitment to ensuring its students are career-ready and prepared to lead a merciful and just world is an inspiration, and that mission is among the primary reasons I chose to work higher education.”

Dr. Humphrey is currently Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement and Secretary to the Board at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is also an Associate Professor of Education. She was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 to serve as Vice Provost and Dean of Students. She has led major initiatives to enhance Pitt’s campus environment with a particular focus on dismantling systemic racism and creating a “more just Pitt,” and she has been at the forefront of expanding Pitt’s community engagement efforts.

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, Dr. Humphrey served in numerous senior posts at Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, MO, including Vice President of Student Development and Associate Vice Provost and Director of Housing and Student Life at Saint Louis University. She also held positions at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO, and The University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO.

Dr. Humphrey is very engaged in the Pittsburgh community and currently serves on several regional boards. Among them she is Chair of the Board of the Forbes Fund; Chair of the Program Committee for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh; Board member at Leadership Pittsburgh where she served as Chair from 2018-2020; and a Board member of Gwen’s Girls and the Blood Science Foundation. Dr. Humphrey is also a faithful member of Macedonia On The Hill in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Humphrey holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO; a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Missouri in Kansas City, MO; and a PhD in Educational Leadership, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO. She has numerous certificates from Harvard University and other institutions and is a fellow of the International Women’s Forum.

“I think Carlow is fortunate to have found such an exceptional leader who will inspire and motivate our Carlow students, faculty, and larger community with her courageous voice, effective skills and engaged involvement in support of our Mercy mission of service. She will ensure our legacy of academic excellence, particularly in the health sciences, while maintaining our foundation in the liberal arts, and providing a pipeline of exceptional graduates to the work force,” Davis said.


Biography — Kathy W. Humphrey, PhD

For more than 30 years, Dr. Kathy Humphrey has built a reputation as an innovative and passionate leader within the higher education field and across the Pittsburgh community.

Dr. Humphrey now serves as the University of Pittsburgh’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. In these roles, she oversees the University’s internal and external relations, focusing on facilitating business engagement, strategic initiatives and partnerships, and government interaction at all levels.

During her tenure, Dr. Humphrey and her team opened the first Community Engagement Center in Homewood, a placed-based strategy that assists Pitt in using its teaching and research to provide service to the community. She developed a stronger culture of valued pluralism and created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has led innovative efforts to provide the University community with platforms to engage.

She first came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 to serve as the Vice Provost and Dean of Students. In that role, she and her team worked to create “the best collegiate student experience in the world.” She is passionate about making the world better through the lives of students, and she served in that position for over nine years.

A significant presence in Pittsburgh’s civic life, Dr. Humphrey serves on the Board of Directors of Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc, Gwen’s Girls and the Blood Science Foundation. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the International Women’s Forum of Pittsburgh and is Chair of The Forbes Funds. In 2013, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation appointed Humphrey to the Advisory Council for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where she served four years.

Dr. Humphrey’s leadership has earned numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career, including the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Creating A Just Community Award, 2020 NABHI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Chuck Cooper Foundation, Leadership Award, 2018 Gwen’s Girls Equity Summit Honoree, 2016 Nellie Leadership Award, a distinction as one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s “50 Women of Excellence,” and the 2019 Onyx Woman Leadership Award for her contribution to the community and support of other women. She also earned the Pitt African American Alumni Council’s Sankofa Award, which honors community members who have offered outstanding education support to students. On numerous occasions the students at the University of Pittsburgh recognized her as the Administrator of the year, and she was honored by the International Student Federation of St. Louis University, which named the organization’s diversity award the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity.”

Deeply committed to the values of mercy, hospitality, service, discovery, and sacredness of creation, Dr. Humphrey is a faithful member of Macedonia on The Hill, and she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Dr. Humphrey earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Central Missouri, a Master of Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a doctorate in educational leadership at Saint Louis University. She has also maintained a faculty appointment in Pitt’s School of Education.

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