5801 S. Ellis Avenue, Suite 503
Chicago, IL 60637
As Vice President and Secretary of the University, David Fithian promotes, facilitates, and supports governance practices across the University and directly manages certain governing boards and advisory bodies. He is the officer with primary responsibility for coordinating the work of the Board of Trustees and is the chief administrative liaison to the Chair of the Board and other Trustee leaders. Fithian oversees coordination of all meetings of the Board and its standing and ad hoc committees, of strategic planning retreats of the Board, and of all other Board activities in Chicago, in other cities in the United States, and at University facilities abroad. He also contributes to the support of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, whose executive committee is a standing committee of the University Board. In collaboration with the deans, Fithian provides central administrative support for the University’s Visiting Committee Program; Visiting Committees, which are appointed by the Board of Trustees, pair civic and business leaders with Divisions, Schools, and some academic departments, for advice, advocacy, and philanthropic support.
In addition, Fithian oversees the Office of University Events and Ceremonies and is responsible for University Convocations, inaugurations, anniversaries and other significant institutional events. He is the custodian of the University seal and mace, and governs their use, and oversees on behalf of the Board of Trustees the design of University diplomas and other documents of record. He also facilitates the appointment and work of the University Marshal.
Fithian serves as president of the Board of Directors of the University’s Quadrangle Club and is also a trustee of Court Theatre, the University’s professional theater, and a director of Chapin Hall.
Before coming to Chicago in June 2007, Fithian served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he also served as Secretary of the Faculty. Before that, beginning in 1995, he served in a number of other administrative positions at Harvard, including Assistant Dean of Harvard College and Secretary of the Administrative Board of Harvard College.
Fithian received his B.A. from Clark University and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.
Staff in the Office of the Secretary of the University