UCSUR Director Schulz to Step Down

Issue Date: 
December 7, 2015

Richard Schulz, director of Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) and member of the Council of Deans since 1999, will step down from these positions effective Sept. 1, 2016. He will remain at the University.

Richard Schulz“Under Rich’s leadership, UCSUR has become a resource for faculty and community leaders who need data or analysis on policy issues facing the region,” says Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “His vision and commitment have helped UCSUR contribute to advancing the University and the region.”

As director of UCSUR, Schulz established a research infrastructure to support faculty researchers, giving them the capacity to do cutting-edge survey research, including conducting regional econometric modeling, gathering and analyzing spatial data as well as large secondary and administrative data, and carrying out all phases of qualitative research. Schulz has also led an increase in scholarly activity and funding at the center, which has helped to enhance UCSUR’s contributions to regional leaders seeking data or analysis on policy issues. Nothing, says Beeson, exemplifies this success more than the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, which opened earlier in 2015 and has quickly become an essential tool for providing data and analysis services to the region’s decision makers.

Schulz earned his PhD in social psychology from Duke University in 1974. His first faculty appointment was in the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. He also held positions as associate professor, professor, and director of the Institute on Aging at Portland State University before being recruited to Pitt in 1984 as an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry. At Pitt, he was promoted to professor in 1990 and Distinguished Service Professor in 2013. His collaborative spirit is reflected in the many secondary appointments he holds with entities, including the School of Nursing, Graduate School of Public Health (Epidemiology and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences), Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (Psychology and Sociology), School of Social Work, and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

During Schulz’s tenure at UCSUR, the University of Pittsburgh became one of the world’s leading centers of research on aging. In addition to growing his own research program in social gerontology, he has mentored dozens of graduate students, fellows, and junior faculty; recruited new research faculty; and helped establish multiple National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation research centers at the University. In 2002, he cofounded the Aging Institute at Pitt. His leadership contributions are evident in the many programs and centers he continues to direct at Pitt, including the Gerontology Program, the Geriatric Education Center of Pennsylvania, and the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology Program. A committee will be formed in the coming weeks to search for Schulz’s successor.