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May 11, 2017

Kathleen Blee Named Dean for School of Arts and Sciences, College of General Studies

Kathleen BleeKathleen M. Blee has been named the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the dean of the College of General Studies. She currently is the Dietrich School’s associate dean and a distinguished professor in the school’s Department of Sociology. Blee’s deanship will commence on Aug. 15, 2017.

A Pitt faculty member since 1996, Blee came to the University as a full professor of sociology and was appointed a Distinguished Professor of Sociology in 2007. As the associate dean for graduate studies, she provides oversight of PhD and master’s programs and degrees in 40 departments and interdisciplinary programs in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Prior to coming to Pitt, Blee served as a faculty member and senior administrator at the University of Kentucky for more than 15 years.

Focusing on social divisions within American society, Blee has researched activist groups and racial violence for more than 30 years. She has ongoing projects that focus on the deradicalization of violent racial extremists, the experience of urban bus riding, and underreported hate crimes. Blee has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods, the sociology of family, global feminism, social movements and writing for publication.

“The continued excellence of the Dietrich School and College of General Studies is essential to maintaining Pitt’s position as a world-class university,” Blee said. “I’m humbled and honored by this opportunity to partner with the provost, chancellor and our outstanding community of faculty, students, staff and alumni to ensure that the school’s future builds on our long tradition of exemplary education, impactful research and scholarship, and significant service to the wider community.”

“Kathy is a distinguished scholar, an experienced and collaborative administrator and an innovative leader. These exceptional qualities — matched by a remarkable commitment to our students and her dedication to supporting our faculty members — truly set her apart,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am confident that under Kathy’s leadership, our Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and our College of General Studies will advance to new levels of excellence and achievement.”

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said that “Kathy brings to the deanship a collaborative leadership style grounded in the core values of academic excellence, innovation and diversity along with a deep understanding of the school’s strengths and opportunities. As such, I am confident in her ability to lead the Dietrich School in developing a clear, comprehensive and inclusive vision for the next chapter in its history.”

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