Center director to step down

By Elizabeth Lepro / Assistant News Editor

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After more than 20 years of enhancing Pitt’s research, Richard Schulz will step down from his role as the director of the Center for Social and Urban Research in September 2016.

Schulz, who is also a member of the Council of Deans, announced in a press release on Nov. 24, that he will leave his position as director of UCSUR, effective Sept. 16, 2016. He said on Wednesday that he will take a yearlong sabbatical before returning to Pitt in a full-time research position. Pitt said in a release that it will find the next director in the summer of 2016.

Pitt recruited Schulz in 1984 to work as an associate professor in the department of psychiatry, and he became director of UCSUR in 1999. He said his leave will make room for more energy in the department. 

“I’ve been in the position for many, many years and I think it’s time for some new blood,” Schulz said.

Over the course of his time at the University, Schulz increased the funding and database for faculty researchers, according to the press release announcing his departure. He has also conducted his own research on dementia in collaboration with the University’s Aging Institute.

Schulz’ success is most evident, Patricia Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor, said in a release, in the 2015 creation of the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center. The WPRDC is a collaboration between Pitt and the city that made data easily accessible for all of western Pennsylvania.

“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,” Beeson said. “His vision and commitment have helped UCSUR contribute to advancing the University and the region.”

Schulz said he is confident that whoever fills his position will continue to foster the research-oriented environment he’s put in place.

“I think [the University] appreciates a lot these pieces we have in the program and I think they will carry into the future,” Schulz said.

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