School of Education Dean to Step Down

Issue Date: 
August 24, 2015

Alan Lesgold, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education and a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Council of Deans since 2000, will step down as dean in August 2016. 

Alan LesgoldUnder Lesgold’s leadership, the School of Education has embraced long-term strategic planning, successfully redesigned key programs to meet student needs, and continued to foster meaningful research among its faculty. He has recruited more than half of the school’s tenured and tenure-stream faculty, helped the school raise more than $57 million toward its capital-campaign goal, and significantly increased overall grant funding. In 2014, he worked with Renée and Richard Goldman to endow the school’s deanship. 

“For 15 years, Dean Lesgold has served to further strengthen the University’s School of Education,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “His dedication to helping produce educators prepared to impact the lives of children at all educational levels in all types of neighborhoods, as well as supporting incisive research within the school, has made a positive impact both in our area and nationwide.”

Lesgold was also instrumental in expanding collaborations between the School of Education and Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center, creating the Center for Urban Education, and developing centers on healthy lifestyle and motivation, engagement, and persistence. The respect that his peers have for the school’s accomplishments during his tenure is reflected in its U.S. News and World Report ranking, which rose 20 places to 27th in the nation. 

“Alan’s leadership of Pitt’s School of Education has been transformative,” said Patricia E. Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor for the University. “His ability to think broadly about research has helped establish the School of Education as an important resource for collaborative work at the University. His commitment to translating academic work into initiatives that contribute to local and global communities has demonstrated the tremendous impact that universities can have on the world around them.”

Lesgold received his PhD in psychology from Stanford University in 1971 and began his career at Pitt that same year as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. He was promoted to full professor in 1985. Lesgold served as the associate director of the Learning Research and Development Center from 1986 to 1997 and as executive associate director from 1997 to 2000. Recently, he played a key role in positioning Pitt to take advantage of the opportunities offered by educational technology through his work as chair of the Council of Deans Task Force on Online Learning. 

An accomplished scholar, Lesgold has published more than 130 articles, chapters, and books during his career. He is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) as well as the Association for Psychological Science and the American Educational Research Association. In 1995, he was awarded the Educom Medal for contributions to educational technology, and in 2001 received the APA award for distinguished contributions of applications of psychology to education and training. He is a Lifetime National Associate of the National Research Council (National Academies) and holds an honorary doctorate from the Open University in the Netherlands.

Lesgold has served as a member of key advisory bodies locally and nationally, including the boards of the Pittsburgh Regional Center for Science Teachers, A+ Schools, and Youthworks. He was a member of former Governor Rendell’s Commission on Preparing America’s Teachers. He chairs the advisory board for the Center for Learning at the Community College of Allegheny County and serves on the board of the New York-based nonprofit Teaching Matters. Recently, Lesgold has lent his expertise internationally as a member of a team tasked with evaluating education schools in Israel for that country’s committee on higher education. 

A search committee will be formed to identify Lesgold’s successor.