University of Pittsburgh
November 24, 2015

Pitt’s Center for Urban and Social Research Director to Step Down

Richard Schulz will remain part of the University

Joe Miksch


Cell: 412-997-0314

PITTSBURGH—Richard Schulz, director of the University of Pittsburgh’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.

“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 conduct cutting-edge survey research; carry out regional econometric modeling; obtain, format, and analyze spatial data; acquire, manage, and analyze large secondary and administrative data; and carry out all phases of qualitative research from data collection to analysis. Schulz has also led an increase in scholarly activity and funding in the center and helped 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, 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 at Pitt are evident in the many programs and centers he continues to direct, 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 Dr. Schulz’s successor.