Provost’s Office Names Lucy Sankey Russell Chief of Staff

Lucy RussellPitt’s Office of the Provost has named Lucy Sankey Russell as vice provost and chief of staff. In the newly created role, Russell will advise Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd on matters of policy, academic affairs, procedural issues and strategic and fundraising initiatives.

“Lucy Russell’s experience in higher education administration is as deep as it is broad,” said Cudd. “I know that her ethical intelligence, her work with a wide variety of high-impact student programs and her project management skills will complement and enhance my work and that of the entire leadership team. I am very happy to welcome her to Pitt and look forward to working with her to further advance the work of the Office of the Provost and of the University.”

Russell’s experience includes more than a dozen years in higher education administration at the levels of provosts’ and deans’ offices. Prior to coming to Pitt, she served as associate dean for strategic initiatives at Boston University, where her responsibilities included providing strategic support in the form of planning, communications, policy development and research.

“I am delighted to be joining the University of Pittsburgh, an institution with a strong commitment to public higher education, extraordinary scholarly and research activity, and a deep connection to the city and state,” Russell said. “I look forward to being a part of the vibrant Pitt community.”

Russell’s work has encompassed undergraduate research and experiential learning, academic support services, retention and undergraduate initiatives, STEM outreach and faculty diversity initiatives.

At the University of Kansas, Russell served as assistant vice provost for undergraduate studies, with oversight of the Academic Achievement and Access Center, as well as the University Career and KU Writing centers. As director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of Virginia, Russell directed undergraduate research programs and was responsible for national fellowship advising.

Before entering academia, Russell worked as an attorney at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Russell begins at Pitt on Dec. 1 and can be reached via email at