Office of the Provost


May 16, 2011

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Edward M. Stricker has agreed to serve as Dean of the University Honors College, effective July 1, 2011. Dr. Stricker is among the University’s most respected scientists and administrators, who, throughout his career at the University of Pittsburgh, has been known for his commitment to instilling in students his appreciation and enthusiasm for the development of the life of the mind. 

Dr. Stricker earned his bachelor's and master’s degrees in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and his doctorate in Psychology from Yale University.  After completing postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Colorado and the University of Pennsylvania, and a faculty appointment at McMaster University, he joined our faculty in 1971 as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Biology.  He was promoted to Professor in 1976, and was named Distinguished University Professor of Neuroscience in 1986. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Stricker has demonstrated a deep commitment to and appreciation of education - particularly undergraduate education.  Inside and outside the classroom, he has challenged students to aspire to excellence, and has provided the encouragement and tools necessary for achieving those aspirations.  Recognizing the importance of engaging students early in their careers, he has taught introductory Neuroscience every year since arriving at Pitt, along with advanced undergraduate and graduate courses.  He was the founding co-director in 1992 of the NIMH-funded Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, a program that facilitates undergraduate engagement with faculty research, and with his colleagues nurtured and supported a culture of commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.  In recognition of the impact he has had on undergraduate education at Pitt, Dr. Stricker received the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Bellet Teaching Excellence Award in Arts and Sciences. 

Dr. Stricker is internationally recognized as a leading expert in homeostatic systems, especially the control of fluid ingestion and the kidneys, and their integration by the brain.  For 41 years, he maintained an active research laboratory continuously funded through grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (including 37 years of continuous funding for his research on the homeostatic origins of motivation), the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Research Council in Canada.  He has also received both the prestigious NIMH Research Scientist Award and the NIMH MERIT Award, a symbol of scientific achievement in the research community. 

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Stricker has been instrumental in the development of the University’s nationally recognized neuroscience community.  Having served as director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Program from 1983 to 1986, he led the efforts to establish a department of Neuroscience in the School of Arts and Sciences, and served as founding chair of that department for 16 years.  He also served as founding director of the Center for Neuroscience and Schizophrenia (now the Conti Center for Neuroscience of Mental Disorders), and as co-director of the Center for Neuroscience from 1996-2002, all at the University of Pittsburgh.  Nationally, he served as president of the International Commission on the Physiology of Food and Fluid Ingestion from 1987 to 1994, and was elected president of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs in 2000. 

 Dr. Stricker has also provided leadership to the University more broadly, serving on chancellor and provost advisory committees, and as chair of search committees for the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences (1992-93) and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1997).

I am delighted that Dr. Stricker has agreed to serve as Dean of the Honors College and have great confidence that his scholarly leadership, dedication to undergraduate students, and commitment to excellence will serve us well in his new role.  He personifies our institutional belief in the value of the highest quality education and the importance of imparting a lifelong interest in learning and research to our students.   

I very much look forward to working with Dr. Stricker and believe that under his leadership the University Honors College, which already is recognized as one of the finest honors colleges in the country, will continue to foster and inspire excellence.



Patricia E. Beeson


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