It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Jack E. Freeman, President of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown from 1971 to 1974. Dr. Freeman passed away peacefully from a brief, unexpected illness on January 24 at the age of 80.
Dr. Freeman earned his BA and MA in political science at Baylor University prior to joining the United States Air Force in 1954. In 1959 he was appointed as an assistant professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. From 1964 to 1967, Captain Freeman worked at the Pentagon for United States Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis Lemay and later for the Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary USAF for International Affairs.
In 1967, he resigned his commission to join his former Air Force Academy mentor Dr. Wesley Posvar, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. He became Pitt-Johnstown's second President in 1971. In 1974, he returned to the Oakland campus as Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget. In 1977, he earned his PhD in higher education administration and was later named Senior Vice Chancellor for Administration in 1979. He became Executive Vice President for the University in 1986. He resigned in 1990 after Chancellor Wesley Posvar announced his plans to retire.
After leaving Pitt, Dr. Freeman held administrative positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, and worked as a higher education management consultant until his retirement in 2006.
Under Dr. Freeman's administration, Pitt-Johnstown established five academic divisions (education, engineering technology, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences) and began offering its first four-year degrees. Dr. Freeman's tenure at Pitt-Johnstown also saw the formation of the faculty senate, the first academic convocation, and groundbreaking for the Engineering and Science Building. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown held its first-ever Homecoming celebration, introduced the Mountain Cat as the official school mascot, and added wrestling as a third intercollegiate sport.
Dr. Freeman is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty Hawling Freeman; sons Jack R. Freeman, David M. Freeman, Mark R. Freeman; daughter Melissa Emanuele; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his elder brother, Bob Freeman. The family is being served by the Hall Funeral Home, Purcellville, Virginia.