Engineering dean steps down to take role in research office


Swanson School of Engineering Dean James R. Martin has stepped down from that role to become vice chancellor for STEM research and innovation in the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, according to an announcement posted Aug. 4 on the provost’s website.

James MartinIn his new role, Martin will “work to help integrate our STEM programs and leverage their collaborative potential and build pipelines to further diversify the student body and faculty in STEM,” the message from Provost Ann Cudd said.

Sanjeev Shroff, distinguished professor and Gerald E. McGinnis chair in bioengineering and chair of the Department of Bioengineering, will serve as interim dean of the school effective immediately, the announcement aid

Martin has been dean of the engineering school since August 2018. He came to Pitt from Clemson University, where he was chair of the civil engineering department. The Swanson School is the second largest school on campus, with more than 3,500 students.

Sanjeev ShroffHis transition marks the fifth Pitt dean to step down or announce their departure in the past year. Most recently, Kathleen Blee, dean of the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, said she will return to the faculty next year. Three other deans — Arjang Assad of Pitt Business; Patricia Kroboth of the pharmacy school; and Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, of the School of Nursing — left their leadership positions at the end of June.

Gene Anderson of Syracuse University started as dean of Pitt Business this week, and Amy Lynn Seybert, who had been chair of Pitt’s Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutic, took over as pharmacy dean on July 1. The search is ongoing for a new nursing dean. The past two years also have brought new deans to the School of Public Health, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Computing and Information.

During Martin’s time as engineering dean, research expenditures within the school have increased by more than 33 percent and Ph.D. enrollments by more than 20 percent, the provost’s announcement said. Undergraduate diversity has consistently increased for underrepresented minorities, with first-year female cohorts nearing 40 percent and first-generation students increasing from 5 to 15 percent.

Shroff came to Pitt from the University of Chicago in 2000 and is a distinguished scholar in cardiovascular physiology and engineering, with special emphasis on cardiac mechano-energetics and cardiovascular structure-function relationships under normal and pathological conditions.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 724-244-4042.


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