Dr. K. James Evans will retire from Pitt-Bradford next summer as the longest-serving administrator in the college's 54-year history and the longest-serving chief student affairs officer in the history of the University of Pittsburgh.
Evans came to Pitt-Bradford as dean of student affairs in 1976 and was named vice president in 1994.
During his tenure, he has been involved in the growth and development of Pitt-Bradford, including the college's transformation into a four-year college in 1979 and its move into NCAA Division III athletics in the 1990s.
Evans was also instrumental in starting many of the offices on campus today. He established the Office of Career Services in 1977 and the Office of Student Activities in 1979. He wrote the preliminary planning proposal to establish the Office of Campus Police in 1979.
Also in 1979, he established a relationship with the Seneca Battalion at St. Bonaventure University to bring U.S. Army ROTC to Pitt-Bradford. Finally, he established the Office of Counseling Services in 1988 and the Office of Community Engagement, which coordinates service learning and volunteering, in 2011.
Evans is the second top administrator to announce that he will retire next year. Dr. Livingston Alexander, president, will retire June 30, 2018. Evans will follow Aug. 1, 2018, with 42 years of service to the university.
“It has been my distinct pleasure to serve our campus with Jim during the last 14 years, and I am pleased that he and I will have the opportunity to serve together for one more year before sailing off into the sunset,” Alexander said in a letter to the campus community.
Evans said he wanted to leave the position when he felt that he had as much energy for it as when he came in. That is saying something -- considering he was in the job before he turned 30.
“From the age of 22, my life's career goal was to become a student dean in a small college, and six years later, when former President (Richard) McDowell invited me to join his administration as dean of students, I didn't need to think twice before accepting it,” Evans wrote in a letter to students earlier this month.
In that letter, Evans also stated, “I have had the best job in the entire University of Pittsburgh system for the past four-plus decades, and it is you, the students, and those countless individuals who preceded you, that have made it so.”
Evans said that although he had opportunities to leave Pitt-Bradford, he wanted to stay on a small campus that was growing. “There was always a sense of entrepreneurship and excitement at Pitt-Bradford,” he said.
Evans will be able to keep an eye on the campus's progress since he and his wife, Dr. Lisa Fiorentino, associate professor of nursing and director of the Center for Rural Health Practice at Pitt-Bradford, plan to stay in Bradford.
He also plans to continue his volunteer work in regional and community activities. He recently finished serving a term as an elected member of the Bradford City Council. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Bradford Area and as a member of the Board of Representatives for Penn State Public Broadcasting, where he chaired the Education Committee.
Currently, he is on the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is a member of the Alumni Council at his undergraduate alma mater, Grove City College.