Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson — whose tenure has been highlighted by the opening of the University of Pittsburgh’s first new school or college in more than two decades — has announced that she will step down from her administrative role and return to Pitt’s economics faculty in fall 2018.
“During her tenure as provost and senior vice chancellor, Patty has realized an innovative and ambitious academic vision for the University of Pittsburgh that has significantly enhanced our stature as a leading university,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “From enhancing the caliber of our student body to championing key issues such as sustainability and diversity to bolstering professional development opportunities for faculty — Patty’s role in shaping Pitt’s success has been nothing short of sweeping and transformative.”
Beeson spearheaded the creation of the School of Computing and Information, the University’s first new school or college since 1995. The school opened this fall with an enrollment of more than 1,100 students.
Through the University Center for Teaching and Learning, Beeson has expanded offerings for faculty members and graduate students to improve their teaching skills through workshops, technology and other resources.
She has also elevated entrepreneurship at Pitt, in particular by helping to establish the Innovation Institute in 2013. This year, the institute broke records in startups, patents and invention disclosures.
Through her “Year Of” series, Beeson facilitated discussion around sustainability, the humanities and diversity. The Year of Healthy U, the latest iteration of the series, promotes well-being and healthy living practices throughout the University community.
“In every facet of my career at the University of Pittsburgh, it has always been an honor to serve its mission. It has been a great privilege to work with such gifted faculty, students and staff through the years,” Beeson said. “I am sincerely grateful to Chancellors Gallagher and [Mark] Nordenberg and to my colleagues on the Council of Deans and throughout the University for the dedication and vision that has made so much progress possible.”
Beeson first joined Pitt in 1983 as a Department of Economics faculty member in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Before being elected as provost and senior vice chancellor in 2010 by the Board of Trustees, she held other administrative roles, including associate dean for undergraduate studies in the Dietrich School, vice provost for graduate studies and vice provost for graduate and undergraduate studies.
Beeson received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Oregon State University in 1977 and a PhD in economics from the University of Oregon in 1983.
The University will launch a national search for its next provost. Beeson will remain in her post for the duration of the 2017-18 academic year.