Nicola Foote Named Dean of the University Honors College

April 8, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Today, I am delighted to announce that Dr. Nicola Foote has been named the new dean of the University Honors College, effective July 1, 2021. She will also join the faculty as a full professor in GSPIA.

Nicola’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 the University Honors College. Her collaborative style and enthusiasm, combined with her outstanding academic experience, commitment to interdisciplinarity, a track record of innovation, proven accomplishments in building sustained community partnerships, success in fundraising, and dedication and achievements in centering global perspectives within undergraduate education will inform a bright path forward.

Nicola comes to us from Arizona State University (ASU), where she serves as the Vice Dean of Barrett, The Honors College. In this role, she serves as the head of academic affairs and provides strategic leadership for the college across ASU’s four campuses. She provides oversight for 170 Honors-only faculty and staff and more than 2,000 faculty across the university who are designated as Honors faculty. I believe that Nicola’s deep and demonstrated commitment to Honors education will continue the vital work of the University Honors College. She has also eloquently expressed her view that advancing Honors education within public universities is extremely important to advance and promote inclusive excellence. 

Prior to joining ASU in 2018, she served as Associate Dean for University Wide Programs and Faculty Engagement at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). In this role Nicola managed the operations of the Honors College; the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement; the Office of Undergraduate Research; General Education; Dual Enrollment Programs; and the University Colloquium. 

She has won awards for her teaching, mentoring and administrative leadership and also has led Study Abroad and Study Away Programs to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands; China; Trinidad and Tobago; England and Wales; and Washington D.C. and the Adirondacks. Nicola has noted that one of her proudest accomplishments at FGCU was the work she did as part of a presidentially appointed committee to create a Diversity Certificate for staff and faculty members which provided an opportunity for significant conversations about issues including ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, and race.

Nicola is also an outstanding scholar. Her research interests include race and state formation in Ecuador; Caribbean migration to South America; histories of reproductive healthcare access in Florida; and human-animal relations in the Galapagos Islands. She has also published in the field of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Board have funded her research. 

Nicola holds a PhD in history from University College London, a Master of Arts degree in area studies (Latin America) from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history of the Americas, also from University College London.

I deeply appreciate the diligent work of the search committee—chaired by Vice Provost Lucy Russell. The search was truly comprehensive, and I am grateful for everyone’s outstanding efforts.

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


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor