Vice Provost Laurie Kirsch Announces Plans to Step Down

Laurie KirschAfter a career that has spanned 27 years at Pitt and focused on faculty engagement, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Development, and Diversity Laurie J. Kirsch has announced her intent to step down from her leadership role in the Office of the Provost effective June 30.

“Laurie has tirelessly devoted herself to guiding transformative efforts—all to benefit Pitt’s faculty,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd. “Laurie’s dedicated service has made a lasting impact on the University. She will be greatly missed, not only in the Office of the Provost but by all who have had the opportunity to work with her.”

“As vice provost, I have had the honor to serve two provosts and to work alongside an amazing team in the Office of the Provost and the University Center for Teaching and Learning. It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to drive significant changes, including broadening outreach to faculty, advocating for increased diversity and inclusion and creating programs and resources aimed at strengthening the Pitt environment for all faculty,” said Kirsch.

Throughout her time as vice provost, Kirsch has led efforts promoting diverse and inclusive development and recognition among faculty at Pitt. She guided the Teaching Center in supporting its mission to foster excellence in teaching and to explore technology-enhanced education and online initiatives in order to better serve the University’s mission. Additionally, she served as chair of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence, focusing on the collaboration of faculty in developing innovative teaching methods and promoting programs that support the University’s diversity and inclusion goals. Through the Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development and the Provost’s Diversity in the Curriculum Award—both collaborations with the Teaching Center—she worked to raise faculty awareness of ways to build diversity and inclusion into the curriculum and the classroom environment. 

Kirsch also focused her efforts on creating programs for mentoring, development and recognition of faculty of color and women faculty. Under her leadership, Pitt launched the Institutional Mentoring Program Across a CommuniTy of Color (IMPACT), a program for faculty of color focused on networking, mentoring and community building. As chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, she launched the Spotlight on Women Leaders program and created the annual Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.

Kirsch has been involved in growing and enhancing existing programs, including the orientation for new chairs, associate deans and vice presidents and a retreat for chairs, associate deans and vice presidents. Additionally, she facilitated the launch of new programs aiming to enhance and strengthen academic leadership skills among faculty, including participation in the ACC Academic Leaders Network, Executive Leadership Training (ELiTe) and the development of Women IN Academic Leadership program for aspiring leaders. She 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.

Kirsch joined the University in 1993 as a faculty member in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. She also served as senior associate dean for professional programs there, overseeing the masters’ and executive programs and assisting the dean in a wide range of faculty matters, including hiring, promotion and tenure processes.

She has received awards for her teaching and research excellence in the area of information systems. International accolades include recognition as a Magid Igbaria Distinguished Scholar and her appointment as a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. The National Science Foundation has funded her research examining the governance, structure and management of large cyber-infrastructure research collaborative projects. She’s held numerous leadership roles on national information systems and management professional associations and served as a member of editorial boards for top scholarly journals.

A search for Kirsch’s replacement will be announced in coming weeks, said Cudd.