Office of the Provost


May 10, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

Dr. Andrew R. Blair has served the University of Pittsburgh as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs since 1999, and it is with appreciation for his outstanding loyalty and service to the University that I have accepted his wish to step down from his administrative role and return to the faculty beginning September of 2012.

As Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Andy has upheld the University of Pittsburgh system that preserves the rights and responsibilities of faculty, including the oversight of established policies and procedures. In this role, he has overseen the faculty appeal and grievance processes and the review of school and campus appointment, promotion, and tenure guidelines for compliance with University policy, and advised deans and campus presidents on University policies and procedures affecting individual faculty members.  As chair of two specially-appointed committees, Andy also oversaw the creation of the University’s first guidelines governing the appointment of Postdoctoral Scholars/Associates and Research Associates.

Andy has also contributed to the development of processes and programs that foster excellence in our faculty and academic administrators. These include orientation sessions for new faculty, department chairs, and senior administrators and annual retreats for department chairs; monitoring of the annual faculty review process to ensure that faculty receive useful and timely feedback on their progress; and oversight of the faculty evaluation of deans, campus presidents, and department chairs. As chair of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence and through his work with the Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education, he has contributed to the development and success of programs such as the Innovations in Education awards program, which funds projects to enhance teaching and foster collaboration among faculty across the University in the development of innovative approaches to teaching.  As chair of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award selection committee, and through his work with the Distinguished Faculty Committee, he has also promoted recognition of faculty excellence.

During his tenure as Vice Provost, Andy has served as the Provost’s Office contact to the Schools of Social Work, Business, Information Sciences, Law, Public and International Affairs, and Education. The Center for Instructional Design and Distance Education, the Office of Faculty Records, and the Office of Measurement and the Evaluation of Teaching all report directly to him. Andy chaired the Working Group on Demonstrating Compliance through Document Review as part of the University’s decennial reaccreditation as well as serving as a member of the Middle States Accreditation Steering Committee.  As an active member of numerous University committees including the International Coordinating Council, and as an administrative liaison to several University Senate Committees, Andy has worked closely with faculty to help promote progress at the University.

Dr. Blair joined the faculty of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1971 after serving on the faculty at Fordham University for a decade.  Before joining the Provost’s Office staff, Andy served first as Associate and then Executive Associate Dean of the Katz Graduate School, as the Director of the International Business Center, as the Director of the Center for International Enterprise Development, and as the Interim Dean of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration.  During the 1990s, he was significantly involved in central Europe’s transition to market-oriented economies, serving as one of the Katz Graduate School of Business’ principal representatives to three new western-style management programs that Katz helped to found in the region.

Andy will continue to serve in the Provost’s Office during the fall term on a reduced basis in order to assist with the transition. Please join me in thanking Andy for his thirteen exemplary years of service to the Office of the Provost. A screening committee will be formed soon with the intention of identifying Dr. Blair’s successor before the beginning of the fall term.



Patricia E. Beeson

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