By SUSAN JONES
Laurie Kirsch will step down as vice provost for faculty affairs, development and diversity — a position she has held for seven years — on June 30, Provost Ann Cudd announced this week.
Kirsch first came to Pitt 27 years ago as a professor of business administration in the Katz Graduate School of Business. She later became senior associate dean for professional programs at Katz, where she supported faculty hiring, promotion and tenure processes and oversaw all masters and executive programs.
“As a vital member of the Office of the Provost’s leadership team, Laurie has tirelessly devoted herself to guiding transformative efforts — all to benefit Pitt’s faculty,” Cudd said in her announcement.
In recent years, Kirsch has been pivotal in creating faculty development programs.
“I would say that over the last several years we’ve just had the time and resources to really expand programming for faculty,” Kirsch said in a University Times article last year. “There have been a number of things that we’ve done over the last five years.”
Those programs include the Institutional Mentoring Program Across a Community of Color (IMPACT), the Women in Academic Leadership (WIN-AL) program, Executive Leadership Training (ELiTe) for chairs, associate deans and vice presidents; and the Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development. In addition, Pitt has its first five participants in the ACC Academic Leaders Network during the 2018-19 school year. She also established an institutional membership with the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity to provide online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students.
Cudd singled out Kirsch’s “significant efforts to promote diversity and inclusion at Pitt in a variety of ways.” As chair of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence, she promoted programs and initiatives in support of the University’s diversity goals. She and her team created resources to aid in faculty recruitment and retention efforts, and to encourage fair and robust search processes. Additionally, she worked to raise faculty awareness of ways to build diversity and inclusion into the curriculum through the Provost’s Diversity in the Curriculum Award.
She also has spent time on creating opportunities for female faculty, including chairing the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, creating the Spotlight on Women Leaders program and developing the annual Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.
As a professor, Kirsch is a recipient of both the Teaching and Research Excellence Awards at the Katz School; has been recognized as a Magid Igbaria Distinguished Scholar; was appointed a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; and has received National Science Foundation funding in support of research examining the governance, structure, and management of large cyber-infrastructure research collaborative projects.
Kirsch has a bachelor’s degree in Computer & Information Sciences from Ohio State, a master’s in Information Systems (Management) from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in the same subject from the University of Minnesota.
When she leaves the provost’s office, Kirsch will return to her academic home in the business school and work on some scholarly articles she hasn’t much time to work on lately.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-648-4294.
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