Esther Barazzone announces retirement from Chatham University

Esther Barazzone, Chatham’s president for over two decades, will retire in June 2016, she announced in an email to faculty, staff, and students on Wednesday, June 3.

Barazzone characterized her tenure as a time of “great growth and change for Chatham.” She cited growing enrollment, increased assets, and national and international recognition for the college-turned-university, as well as the coming undergraduate coeducation and reorganization and the opening of the Eden Hall Campus (the world’s first net zero, carbon neutral campus), as just a few of Chatham’s successes.

In addition to these accomplishment, Barazzone wrote that she is, “most proud that we have been able to do these things while always seeking quality and the individual orientation of our academic programs.”

“We have much to celebrate, in areas both of continuity of mission as well as change,” she wrote.

Barazzone went on to thank administrators, faculty, and students, both current and alumni. She acknowledged the past year’s strife over the Board of Trustees’ decision for the undergraduate college to transition to coeducation, but wrote, “all, regardless of their position on the topic of coeducation, cared passionately about Chatham and valued their educational experience here.”

Although she is uncertain of what her time after Chatham will bring, Barazzone is optimistic, writing “Think of me as on that sled in the last frame of the Calvin and Hobbes series—‘Let’s go exploring!!’”

The Board of Trustees will soon announce details of the search for her successor, she said. For more information about her accomplishments as Chatham’s president, visit