Carissa Slotterback Named Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, after serving as the dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) since 2007, John Keeler announced last year his intention to return to the faculty. In planning for GSPIA’s next chapter, we conducted a national search to identify his successor.  

Today, I am delighted to announce that Dr. Carissa Schively Slotterback has been named GSPIA’s new dean, effective October 1, 2020. She will also join the faculty as a full professor in GSPIA.

Carissa’s exceptional depth and breadth of higher education experience uniquely positions her to lead GSPIA forward. During her 16 years at the University of Minnesota, she has served in numerous roles. In her most recent role there, as Associate Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, she was responsible for leading academic programs and curricula, faculty mentoring and promotion, and research advancement. As well, she set strategy for—and supervised—staff teams in academic programs, advising and retention, academic and information technology, and career and professional development. She also led a school-wide curriculum review that engaged faculty and students, created a new student services leadership team, supported the development of an equity and inclusion plan, and collaborated to advance interdisciplinary initiatives. In addition, she has led a number of university-wide strategic planning efforts, while holding leadership roles with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the primary planning academic planning association in the United States.

Prior to serving as Associate Dean, Carissa was the Director of Research Engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Research. In that role she developed and implemented strategic initiatives to advance interdisciplinary and engaged research. She also initiated and directed the university’s Resilient Communities Project to support faculty and student engagement on community sustainability projects.

Carissa is an outstanding scholar and leader in urban planning, with a focus on environmental and land use planning and policy, public engagement, and sustainability—topics on which she is widely published and for which her research is frequently cited.

Carissa’s strong strategic leadership and deep dedication to serving and advocating for students, faculty, and the broader community make her a truly wonderful fit for our University and for GSPIA. Her collaborative style and energy, combined with her outstanding academic experience and focus on interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and diversity and inclusion, will contribute greatly to our forward progress.

Carissa earned her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University, as well as a Master of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Individualized Study at Winona State University.

I greatly appreciate the work of the search committee—chaired by Ariel Armony, Vice Provost for Global Affairs. The search was truly comprehensive, and I am grateful for everyone’s commitment and efforts.

Please join me in welcoming Carissa to the University and to Pittsburgh.


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh