Transition: Lucy Russell

February 12, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share with you that Lucy Sankey Russell, Vice Provost and Chief of Staff, has advised me of her decision to retire effective June 12, 2024.

Lucy joined the office in December 2018, serving as an advisor on matters of policy, academic affairs, procedural issues and strategic and fundraising initiatives. Her expertise has significantly informed the reinvigoration of the Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns, progress in Human Resource operations in the Office of the Provost, leadership around Commencement ceremonies, and work as chair of the Learning Spaces Management Committee. As well, her work with our office's intersections with committees of the Board of Trustees has been incredibly insightful and precise.

She came to Pitt with deep and broad experience in higher education administration and her contributions to our progress have been significant—always well-thought-out, articulate, and on point to help us chart many dialogues to move us forward. I thank her so much for all that she has contributed to the University community. Her versatility in times of challenge and also in calm times has been a hallmark of her kind stewardship and effective leadership.

As some of you may know, prior to coming to Pitt, Lucy served as associate dean for strategic initiatives at Boston University, where her responsibilities included providing strategic support in the form of planning, communications, policy development and research. Her portfolio encompassed undergraduate research and experiential learning, academic support services, retention and undergraduate initiatives, STEM outreach and faculty diversity initiatives. Prior to that role, at the University of Kansas (KU), Lucy served as assistant vice provost for undergraduate studies, with oversight of the Academic Achievement and Access Center, as well as the University Career and KU Writing centers. She also served as director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of Virginia, where she led undergraduate research programs and was responsible for national fellowship advising.

Lucy's contributions to higher education are far-reaching, indeed—and the University of Pittsburgh has been so fortunate to benefit in meaningful ways from her expertise and council. She has been friend, mentor and wise touchstone for us all.

Please join me in wishing Lucy well as her new life chapter begins and in thanking her for all that she has helped us realize in the Office of the Provost and as a University community. 



Joseph J. McCarthy
Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor  
William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Chemical Engineering