Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Point Park University's Student-Run Newspaper

Point Park Globe

Interim president Chris Brussalis appointed ninth university president over the summer

On July 25, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Chris Brussalis as the ninth president of Point Park University. 


Brussalis was serving as interim president after the resignation of former President Don Green due to “private, personal and family reasons,” according to the late January email from the Board of Trustees and was appointed to develop a strategic plan for the university.


“It [Brussalis’ time as interim president and president] has been going really well,” Brussalis said. “The Board is reviewing a draft of the next strategic plan phase.”


Brussalis said this next phase is set to be announced in late October and includes six elements: three drivers and three enablers. All six elements will help “take Point Park to the next level” and advance Pittsburgh into a “third renaissance.”


“A key part in this will be philanthropic donations from alumni,” Brussalis said. “We need to create more sustainable cash flow to advance ourselves.”


Brussalis was a member of the Board of Trustees for four years before being appointed interim president. Paul Hennigan, the president before Green, served as interim president one year before being appointed president. Green started as the university’s president in the fall of 2021 after the retirement of Hennigan. 


The university’s turnaround for presidents has created some concern for students, as well as the university’s announcement of the president during the summer.


“I think having two presidents in two years is still strange, but as a PPU student, I kind of just moved on,” Kairi Stallsmith, a junior secondary history education major, said. 


Brooke Gilman, a junior forensic science major, feels similarly.


“In general, being at a smaller school can be concerning for the future of it,” Gilman said. “But for where I am at in school, I’m not worried at the moment.”


Stallsmith said she “felt the decision” coming about Brussalis being appointed and “wishes students were more involved.”


“I didn’t think the university was looking at other candidates,” Stallsmith said. “I wish in some way we could have had a say on who the new President was, even if it was a decision they had to make over the summer, like an online q and a… then again, I don’t think they [the university] were looking for anyone else. I think truly PPU needed a president, and they needed one fast so they went with the quickest option.”


Gilman is “good” with the state of the “president situation” now. 


“At first I was weary since he [Brussalis] came off a lot about finances,” Gilman said. “But so far over the summer, he seems to be open about what he can with Point Park and gathering school spirit with his appearance on the news.”


According to Student Government President (SGA) Marc Palombo, the organization was not involved in the president hiring process, but they are “open-minded” to meetings and conversations between the organization and Brussalis.


“He’s undeniably a businessman, so only time will reveal whether his influence on the school will positively or negatively impact us,” Palombo said in an email to The Globe. “Dramatic changes in leadership are less than ideal, as they suggest that little progress has been made, but as I’ve said time will only tell on the future impacts of his presidency.”


Palombo said he maintains a “positive outlook” and hopes “we can work together to make Point Park a better place for everyone.”


While serving in his role as president, Brussalis is also chairman of The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm, and is an adjunct professor of management and policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

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