Board honors Richards, approves Choudhry as CIO


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A photo made from a tribute video to the late Tom Richards, former chair of Pitt’s Board of Trustees.

By Jon Moss, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt’s Board of Trustees honored late chair Tom Richards at its Friday afternoon meeting, praising him and his commitment to the University.

Richards passed away in late October at 66, following a battle with cancer. A native of nearby Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Richards served as starting point guard for the men’s basketball team and enjoyed the 1973-74 season, with a 22-game winning streak and narrow miss at The Big Dance. Richards later spent several decades in the technology industry.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said during the meeting that Richards was “a very dear friend and colleague.” Mary Ellen Callahan, the vice chair with the most seniority, chaired the meeting and called a moment of silence for Richards and other community members lost during the pandemic. She said the board would select a new chair at its June meeting.

Board members read a resolution of appreciation for Richards, which said in part that they “express their sincere appreciation and profound gratitude” for his contributions to the University community and “cherish the warm memories of their personal and professional associations.” The resolution passed unanimously. He has also been honored with an engraved bench in the Heinz Memorial Garden for his service as board chair.

The board also formally approved Jeffer Choudhry as the University’s new chief investment officer and an officer of the University.

Pitt originally named him late last month as the successor to Greg Schuler, who left last year to pursue other opportunities. As CIO, Choudhry is responsible for managing the University’s roughly $5.6 billion Consolidated Endowment Fund. Before joining Pitt, he served as the senior managing director and head of investments at nearby Carnegie Mellon University.

The board’s compensation committee met later Friday afternoon to approve Choudhry’s compensation package. He will receive a base annual salary of $700,000, with the opportunity for incentive payments up to 70% of base pay for each fiscal year, based on “qualitative and quantitative factors.”