DeJong, Manfredi, and Sbragia Named Pitt Vice Provosts

Issue Date: 
September 7, 2010
From left: Juan J. Manfredi, Patricia E. Beeson, David N. DeJong, and Alberta M. SbragiaFrom left: Juan J. Manfredi, Patricia E. Beeson, David N. DeJong, and Alberta M. Sbragia

University of Pittsburgh Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson has chosen Pitt faculty members to fill three key academic administrative posts within the University. Pitt professor David N. DeJong, chair of the Department of Economics, is the new vice provost for academic planning and resources management. Mathematics professor Juan J. Manfredi, associate dean for undergraduate studies in Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, has been named vice provost for undergraduate studies. And Alberta M. Sbragia—the inaugural holder of the Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, professor of political science, and director of the European Studies Center and the European Union Center of Excellence at the University—has been tapped to serve as vice provost for graduate studies.

The appointments mark Beeson’s first major staffing decisions since she assumed her new duties as provost on Aug. 15.

David N. DeJong

DeJong joined Pitt as an assistant professor in Arts and Sciences’ Department of Economics in 1989; he was promoted to professor in 2001 and has served as chair of the department since 2006. He has served as a visiting professor at three distinguished foreign institutions: the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna; DiTella University in Buenos Aires; and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Kiel, Germany.

“Dr. DeJong shares my strong commitment to the value of academic planning within the University and the effective integration of that planning with strategic use of our resources,” Beeson said. “I am looking forward to his important contributions to our senior staff team.”

DeJong’s research focuses on macroeconomics, econometrics, and transition economics. He specifically focuses on the formal statistical implementation of theoretical models for the purpose of forecasting aggregate economic activity. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. He has published widely in the top general-interest journals in economics as well as in the leading field journals. In addition to writing more than 40 published refereed journal articles, he is the coauthor of the textbook Structural Macroeconomics (Princeton University Press, 2007). He also served as associate editor of the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics from 2000 to 2006.

DeJong utilizes his expertise in economics to assist in maintaining the University of Pittsburgh’s U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) forecasting model, which is accessible at This model has proven useful for identifying postwar economic cycles and business-cycle turning points identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

DeJong’s service to the University goes beyond scholarly and instructional activities: He has served as a member of or representative to the University Planning and Budgeting Committee’s Parameters Subcommittee, the Advisory Committee for the Admission of Student Athletes, the NCAA Athletics Certification Subcommittee on Academic Integrity, the Faculty Admissions Support Team, and the Budget Committee of the Pitt Board of Trustees.

DeJong is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Schenker Award for Outstanding Teaching of Principles of Economics (University of Pittsburgh, 1993), the Dissertation Support Award (National Bureau of Economic Research, 1989), and the Paul R. Olson Award for Excellence in Scholarship (University of Iowa, 1988). He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Statistical Association, and the Econometric Society.

DeJong earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Central College in Iowa in 1985 and his doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1989, both in economics.

Juan J. Manfredi

In his new position as vice provost for undergraduate studies, Manfredi will draw on his more than 20 years as a distinguished scholar, teacher, and administrator to oversee the educational programs serving Pitt’s largest student cohort.

“I have great confidence in Dr. Manfredi’s academic and organizational leadership,” Beeson said. “He shares my strong commitment to student achievement and has the energy and experience to help us continue to build on the University’s existing strengths and priorities in undergraduate education. I very much look forward to working with him.”

Deeply engaged in undergraduate education since joining Pitt’s faculty in 1989, Manfredi has been recognized for his innovative work teaching undergraduate calculus; he received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994. Manfredi was instrumental, among his other efforts, in establishing an electronic calculus classroom that includes an electronic textbook and electronic submission of homework and exams and for running symbolic computation software on a variety of computing platforms. He also has served as a mentor to undergraduate student researchers.

Manfredi has a strong record of administrative experience as chair of the Department of Mathematics from 2005 to 2007, as a two-time NSF program director, and, since 2007, as associate dean of undergraduate studies in Arts and Sciences, where he strengthened the undergraduate advising program and led the assessment of student-learning outcomes.

As a scholar, Manfredi has focused his research on nonlinear partial differential equations, nonlinear potential theory, and, more recently, their stochastic games interpretations. He has an extensive publication history, as well as strong research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has served as a colloquium lecturer or invited speaker at universities and conferences around the world. Most recently, he was an invited speaker on the evolution of interfaces in Sapporo, Japan, and at a partial differential equations conference in Parma, Italy.

Manfredi is a member of a number of prestigious professional associations, including the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Manfredi earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1979 and his master’s and PhD degrees in mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1984 and 1986, respectively. Since coming to Pitt, Manfredi was promoted to full professor in 1998 and has held visiting professorships at such other renowned institutions of higher education as Northwestern University.

Alberta M. Sbragia

One of the world’s foremost experts on European politics and economics and a leading authority on the teaching of international affairs, Sbragia joined Pitt’s faculty in 1974 and taught American and European urban politics and policy. In 1983, she was a visiting associate professor at Harvard University; she returned to Pitt the following year, to become director of Pitt’s West European Studies Program, now Pitt’s European Studies Center. From 1993 to 1995, she chaired the European Union Studies Association, the foremost national association for experts in that field. Because of her leadership in the organization, the association is now headquartered at Pitt.

In 1998, Sbragia was named director of Pitt’s European Union Center, one of the original 10 such centers in the United States funded by the European Commission. In 2005, the center was elevated to the status of a European Union Center of Excellence.

“I am extremely pleased that such a highly respected academic leader has accepted my invitation to join our senior staff team,” said Beeson. “Dr. Sbragia holds herself and others to notably high standards and shares my commitment to the graduate and professional education that is at the heart of Pitt’s impact on the future of academic scholarship and the professions.”

Sbragia’s strengths as a teacher and mentor have been recognized internationally, through such awards as the Jean Monnet Chair, granted in recognition of her teaching and research related to the European Union, and Universitywide, as the first holder of the Nordenberg Chair and the 2001 Apple for the Teacher Award.

Sbragia authored or coauthored several books and numerous book chapters and articles and has presented more than 200 papers and speeches around the globe. Her areas of expertise include comparative politics, with a focus on Western Europe; comparative regionalism; European Union politics; and comparative federalism. She is a member of several professional journals’ editorial and advisory boards.

Sbragia earned her undergraduate degree from Holy Names College in Oakland, Calif., after spending her junior year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. She earned her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, where her doctoral studies included her pursuit of research in Italy as a Fulbright Scholar.