February 3, 2020
For the past 27 years, Laurie J. Kirsch has provided exceptional and transformative service to the University of Pittsburgh.
Throughout her time at Pitt, Laurie has deeply engaged with its faculty—first as a faculty member herself in the Katz Graduate School of Business as Professor of Business Administration and then as senior associate dean for professional programs at Katz, where she supported faculty hiring, promotion, and tenure processes and oversaw all masters and executive programs.
When she was named vice provost for faculty affairs, development, and diversity seven years ago, she further expanded her commitment to the Pitt faculty—as well as the broader Pitt community. It is with deep appreciation for all Laurie has done to support, strengthen, and encourage success and diversity among the faculty at Pitt that I write to let you know of her decision to step down from her Vice Provost role effective June 30, 2020.
As a vital member of the Office of the Provost’s leadership team, Laurie has tirelessly devoted herself to guiding transformative efforts—all to benefit Pitt’s faculty.
Laurie has led significant efforts to promote diversity and inclusion at Pitt in a variety of ways. As chair of the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence, she worked to foster collaboration among Pitt faculty in developing innovative teaching methods, and promoting programs and initiatives in support of the University’s diversity goals. She and her team created resources to aid in faculty recruitment and retention efforts, and to encourage fair and robust search processes. Additionally, she worked to raise faculty awareness of ways to build diversity and inclusion into the curriculum and the classroom environment through the Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development and the Provost’s Diversity in the Curriculum Award. Under her leadership, Pitt launched of the Institutional Mentoring Program Across a CommuniTy of Color (IMPACT), a program for faculty of color focused on networking, mentoring, and community building.
Laurie also established important opportunities for recognition of women faculty. As chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, she began the Spotlight on Women Leaders program, also developing the annual Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.
Laurie masterfully enhanced existing programs—like the orientation for new chairs, associate deans, and vice presidents and a retreat for chairs, associate deans, and vice presidents—while facilitating the launch of several new programs meant to enhance and strengthen academic leadership skills among faculty, including participation in the ACC Academic Leaders Network; Executive Leadership Training (ELiTe); 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.
In her role, Laurie guided the University Center for Teaching and Learning in support of 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. She has also worked closely with Faculty Records to strengthen and streamline processes related to faculty actions, including establishing oversight of an electronic record system.
During her distinguished career, Laurie has been commended internationally for her teaching and research excellence in the area of information systems. She is a recipient of both the Teaching and Research Excellence Awards at the Katz School; has been recognized as a Magid Igbaria Distinguished Scholar; was appointed a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand; and has received National Science Foundation funding in support of research examining the governance, structure, and management of large cyber-infrastructure research collaborative projects.
Laurie has held a number of national leadership positions in the information systems and management professional associations, including the Association for Information Systems and the Academy of Management. She also brought her skills and knowledge to the editorial board, often as associate editor or as senior editor, for the top scholarly journals in her discipline, including Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Management Science, Decision Sciences, Information and Organization, and the Journal of Strategic Information Systems.
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. Please join me in wishing Laurie well and in thanking her for all she has done to advance the University of Pittsburgh.
I will announce a search in coming weeks to identify Laurie’s successor.
Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Professor of Philosophy