Donald Burke to step down as public health dean

By Jon Moss, News Editor

Donald Burke, dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and associate vice chancellor for global health, will step down from his position on July 1, according to UPMC spokesperson Allison Hydzik. A. Everette James, director of Pitt’s Health Policy Institute and associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning, will serve as interim dean until a permanent successor is found.

In addition, Eleanor Feingold, interim chair of the human genetics department and the School’s senior associate dean, will now serve as the School’s executive associate dean.

Burke, the School’s seventh and longest-serving dean, was appointed to the position in 2006. He previously served for nearly a decade as the director of the Center for Immunization Research and chair of the international health department at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to that, Burke spent 23 years on active duty in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, working on research, vaccine development and prevention programs.

Hydzik said in an email Burke had originally decided to leave the School two years ago, but was asked by the University to remain in his position until this summer.

“He intends to devote time to other endeavors, including research initiatives to improve population health outcomes and battle the opioid epidemic,” Hydzik said. “He will continue on Pitt Public Health’s faculty as Distinguished University Professor of Health Science and Policy in the Department of Epidemiology.”

Hydzik said the search for a new dean will begin once a successor is identified for Arthur Levine, the outgoing senior vice chancellor of health sciences, so they may have input in the process. The search committee for Levine’s position, chaired by Provost Ann Cudd, is holding a series of open forums throughout June to solicit community feedback on finding the best candidate.