Arizona State official named as new Honors College dean

Nicola Foote, vice dean of the honors college at Arizona State University, has been selected to head Pitt’s University Honors College, effective July 1.

Foote, a scholar of Latin American and Caribbean history, also will be a full professor in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

The position has been fluid over the past couple of years. Brian Primack served from 2017 to 2019, before leaving to go to the University of Arkansas. At that time, Audrey Murrell, who was associate dean of the College of Business Administration, was named acting dean, which Cudd said indicated a longer tenure, possibly a couple of years, “and then we’ll see where to go from there, whether to do a national search or what she wants to do.”

A national search was launched in fall 2020, chaired by Lucy Russell, chief of staff in the provost’s office, who said then, “The provost feels that the Honors College is growing and maturing. And in order to continue its momentum, it’s important to look broadly for the best candidates to serve as dean.” 

Murrell stepped down as acting dean in February, and Joseph McCarthy, vice provost for undergraduate studies, has been serving as interim dean.

In her announcement of Foote’s appointment, Provost Ann E. Cudd said that “Foote’s strong strategic leadership and deep dedication to serving and advocating for students, faculty and the broader community make her a truly wonderful fit for our University and the University Honors College.”

At Arizona State, Foote provided strategic leadership for the college across four campuses, overseeing 170 honors-only faculty and more than 2,000 affiliated faculty. Previously, she served as associate dean for university-wide programs and faculty engagement at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

She holds a Ph.D. in history from University College London, a Master of Arts degree in area studies (Latin America) from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history of the Americas, also from University College London.

Read more about Foote on Pittwire.