Joe McCarthy, vice provost of undergraduate studies since 2017, will serve as interim provost after Ann Cudd leaves at the end of June, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced on May 17.
McCarthy has been at Pitt since 1998 as a professor in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. He also served as interim dean of the David C. Frederick Honors College in early 2021 and led the University’s decennial evaluation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, between 2020 and 2022.
Senate Council President Robin Kear said, "The Senate Officers and I are very pleased with Chancellor Gallagher’s decision to appoint Joe McCarthy as our interim provost. Joe has extensive experience in the Provost’s office, especially with undergraduates, and has worked with the Senate on various issues. We worked successfully with Joe during the Middle States reaccreditation, and he is a current liaison to the Senate Educational Policies Committee. I look forward to working with Joe in this new role."
As a Pitt faculty member, McCarthy has earned a number of accolades, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, James Pommersheim Award for Excellence in Teaching in Chemical Engineering and Carnegie Science Award for Higher Education. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Northwestern.
He also has chaired several dean search committees, including the recent search for the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences dean that ended with the appointment of Adam Leibovich.
Cudd announced in March that she was departing this summer to become president of Portland State University in Oregon. Gallagher will step down as chancellor in mid-July when Joan Gabel starts as Pitt’s 19th chancellor. That left him with the task of appointing an interim chancellor so there was no gap in leadership.
“I have consulted extensively with the chancellor-elect throughout this process, and my decision today has her full support,” Gallagher said in his announcement.
A national search will take place once Gabel arrives. The provost search process is under control of the chancellor’s office, but the provost must be separately elected by the Board of Trustees as an officer of the University.
According to the University Guidelines for Search Committees for Senior Academic Administrators, the selection of search committee members should include consultation with the executive committee of the University Senate and the constituencies to be served by a new administrator.
A search committee for provost can be up to 15 people — or more, if necessary — the guidelines say. The elected faculty members of the search committee will include:
Two from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Two from the professional schools of the provost’s area
One from the regional campuses
One from the Health Sciences area
At least one representative from the two tenured professorial ranks — professor and associate professor — must be included on the committee, and at least 50 percent of the committee must be faculty from the provost’s area.
The committee also will include one staff member appointed by Staff Council; one graduate student; one Arts and Sciences undergraduate student and one College of General Studies undergraduate student from the Oakland campus. Additional members of the search committee may be appointed by the chancellor to ensure diversity and equitable participation by affected areas.
— Susan Jones
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