University of Pittsburgh
May 22, 2000


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 23 -- Alan Lesgold, executive associate director of the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), and professor of psychology and intelligent systems, has been named dean of the School of Education, effective July 1, 2000. He replaces Dean Kenneth Metz, who is returning to his faculty position.

"I have great confidence that Dr. Lesgold will provide the dynamic academic leadership that will be needed to make our School of Education programs as good as they can possibly become," said James V. Maher, provost of the University. "Dr. Lesgold shares my belief that we must emphasize the ability of the School of Education to train teachers and school leaders, and to conduct research aimed at improving schooling."

Lesgold came to Pitt in 1971 as an assistant professor of psychology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He founded and directed Pitt's interdisciplinary doctoral program in cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

His research includes the learning of complex skills and the acquisition of reading skill. Recent efforts have been focused on training technical workers using intelligent, computer-based coached apprenticeship; using network technologies for school improvement and professional development of educators; and educational technology policy.

"Ultimately, our responsibility as researchers and teachers is to help make high quality schooling a major attraction of the Western Pennsylvania region," said Lesgold. "We need to use both traditional approaches and new learning technologies to do this well."

Lesgold was awarded the Educom Medal by Educom and the American Psychological Association for lifetime contributions to educational technology in 1995. He received an honorary doctorate in 1999 from the Open University of the Netherlands in recognition of his scientific contributions to educational technology and applied educational research.

Lesgold has been a member of the Soldier Systems Panel for the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board of the National Research Council; a member of the Oversight Committee on work force retraining for the Working Together Consortium of the Pennsylvania Economy League;. and chair of the Roundtable on Learning, Work, and Assessment of the National Research Council.