Spotlight on Michael Balderson

Michael Balderson recently joined the PittGlobal family as UCIS's new Director of Administration. Learn more about Michael's journey to UCIS and make sure to offer him a warm welcome!

What brought you to Pitt? How did you end up in your current role?
I left my role as the Director of Business Operations for CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and transitioned into my role at Pitt in April of 2017 as the Director of Administration for the Office of University Communications and Marketing. When I arrived at Pitt, I had recently completed my MPM at the Heinz College at CMU and was looking for the next step in my career path. This was my first role working in central administration, where I went on to gain invaluable knowledge about how the University functions. I also really enjoyed working with my creative colleagues in UCM.

After spending six years there I am delighted to start this new role in UCIS. I am excited to have closer alignment with the academic mission of Pitt and to have the opportunity to interact more frequently with faculty and students.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
The one constant is that no day is typical in a Director of Administration role at Pitt. I maintain a list of ongoing ranked priorities and I try to spend my time where I can make the most impact as well as meet ongoing deadlines for a wide range of projects. I try to strike an equitable balance between dedicating my time to the strategic priorities and being an advocate, problem solver, and advisor for UCIS community on matters of finance, HR, and operations.
What would you say is the most exciting project you’re working on now?
I am working on the Annual Report, and it is fascinating to read about the incredible contributions that UCIS achieves for the Pitt community.
What’s one fun fact that people might not know about you?
I studied to become a classical musician before pursuing a career in higher ed administration. My undergrad is in double bass performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and I completed my Master’s in double bass performance at Carnegie Mellon. CMU brought me to Pittsburgh in 2003 and I never left. I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland but now consider Pittsburgh home.
Favorite thing about UCIS and working here?
The people - I am truly humbled by the amount of generosity and kindness afforded to me when I arrived.