Virtual town hall planned for Public Health dean search

The search for a new dean of the Graduate School of Public Health will go on — as will searches for two new vice provosts — despite the move to virtual learning and social distancing because of the coronavirus COVID-19.

In February, Provost Ann Cudd and newly approved Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Anantha Shekar announced that Bernard Costello, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, would head the committee to find a replacement for Donald Burke, who retired last summer. A. Everette James has been serving as interim dean since then.

A 15-member search committee has been formed that includes one Public Health staff member, one Public Health/Social Work student, two Dental Medicine faculty members, two vice chancellors for the Health Sciences, one UPMC executive and eight Public Health faculty members (including four who were elected by their peers). Details about the committee and the search can be found on the Public Health website.

In addition, the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller has been hired to assist Pitt with this effort. The rules for the search are governed under Pitt guidelines that apply to hires for academic deans, the provost, the senior vice chancellor for the Health Sciences, regional campus presidents, director of the University Library System, and directors of selected University-wide centers.

Those rules include public meetings of the search committee open to members of the Pitt community to ask questions and voice opinions about the search. The first of these open meetings was scheduled for April 9 in the Public Health building. That meeting will now be a virtual town hall. The meeting will be live-streamed from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 9 on the Public Health website, and questions for the committee may be submitted online at

The committee will schedule additional open meetings through summer 2020. The provost said in her message to faculty, staff and students in Public Health that Pitt hopes to have a new dean in place by the fall.

Vice provost positions

Two key members of the provost’s office have announced this year that they will be leaving their positions this summer.

A search committee has already been appointed to look at internal candidates to Laurie Kirsch as vice provost of faculty affairs, development and diversity. Kirsch is returning to the Katz Graduate School of Business faculty starting July 1.

Tenured full professors at Pitt should submit a letter of interest and a CV to by April 10. Ideally, a new vice provost would start the position June 1, in order to overlap with Kirsch. Find a full job description on the provost’s website.

In early March, the provost announced that Nathan Urban, vice provost of graduate studies and strategic initiatives, would be leaving Pitt this summer to become provost at Lehigh University. No committee has been formed for this search yet.

— Susan Jones


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