Director of the University Center for Social and Urban Research

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The University of Pittsburgh seeks a Director of the University Center for Social and Urban Research
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Position:
The Director of the University Center for Social & Urban Research has broad autonomy to shape the next phase of a long-running and successful center. Reporting directly to the Provost, the Director serves as UCSUR’s academic and administrative leader and must work collaboratively with Pitt faculty and staff, as well as the University and regional, national, and global communities, to develop an innovative and impactful future trajectory for the center. The successful Director will have the strategic vision to build upon UCSUR’s current strengths and to broaden the support of research in the social sciences and urban policy while fostering growth in the center’s research capabilities and fundraising capacity, educational offerings, and community engagement.

Given the wide range of faculty expertise at Pitt and academic inquiry undertaken at UCSUR, the Director should have an appreciation of different disciplines and a strong sense of how they can work together for greater impact. The center pulls from diverse funding streams, and the Director should have the financial acumen and savvy to understand and cultivate new resources for UCSUR. The Director should also be actively engaged in raising UCSUR’s visibility both within the University and the broader community, should work collaboratively with other academic leaders to create a vibrant research ecosystem for social and behavioral sciences research at Pitt, and should relish the opportunity to initiate and mature productive, collaborative partnerships.


  • Develop a strategic, collaborative vision for UCSUR’s future.
  • Expand the funding base for UCSUR through grant funding and philanthropy.
  • Direct and expand UCSUR’s presence within the University and broader community.
  • Grow UCSUR’s collaborations, internally and externally.
  • Advance UCSUR’s profile and impact among urban and social research centers at peer institutions.
  • Integrate the center into efforts that support the University’s strategic priorities, such as the University’s Data Science Initiative.
  • Broaden and deepen UCSUR’s community engagement efforts in alignment with the University’s commitment to community engaged scholarship.
  • Lead UCSUR in conducting and promoting research of impact across the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Build and support diverse and collaborative teams.
  • Oversee the UCSUR staff.


  • An earned terminal degree in a relevant discipline of study.
  • A track record of research, teaching, and service sufficient to be awarded a tenured faculty position in a relevant school or department at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Administrative experience consistent with the Center Director’s responsibilities.
  • Experience developing and leading multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary collaborative initiatives.
  • Proven ability to generate research funding from external sources.
  • Demonstrated commitment to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Familiarity with an array of social and behavioral science research methods and data sources.
  • Strong communication skills.


  • Demonstrated record of developing and implementing strategic plans that drive institutional transformation.
  • Track record of successful community engagement.
  • Experience with and interest in raising funds from philanthropic sources.
  • Understanding of education and instruction, and an appreciation of how UCSUR’s people and data can support the University’s academic missions.
  • Experience providing continuing education on cutting-edge methods and data collection and analytic techniques to social and behavioral sciences researchers.
  • Skill in promoting staff professional development and advancement.

About the University Center for Social and Urban Research:
The University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR) was established in 1972 to serve as a resource for researchers and educators interested in the basic and applied social and behavioral sciences. UCSUR’s mission has been to work collaboratively to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves communities and addresses social, economic, health, and policy issues most relevant to society. The center carries out this mission by providing research support infrastructure and training in the social and behavioral sciences; collecting and disseminating regional and national policy-relevant data to support research and community development; and conducting original research in focused areas.

UCSUR’s future is bright:
UCSUR’s next Director has the opportunity to build upon the center’s current strengths and drive its exciting next chapter. UCSUR’s assets include well-developed data and computing infrastructure, an experienced and dedicated staff, and an entrepreneurial and creative spirit that drives new inquiry. There is also a strong ecosystem at Pitt supporting research in the social sciences and urban policy—spanning disciplines such as arts and sciences, public and international affairs, law, and the health sciences—which offers opportunities for both new and expanded engagement with the center. In addition, there is an institutional focus on developing capacity for large multidisciplinary and multi-university grant submissions, and the next Director should be an integral partner in these efforts.

About the Institution:
Focused on impact and the relentless pursuit of change for good, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a top-ranked, public institution in Pennsylvania and member of the Association of American Universities, a group of 64 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America. Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy, Pitt is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education and is recognized as one of the most innovative universities in the world, inventing the paths of the future and forging ahead.

To Apply:
The University of Pittsburgh, in consultation with Summit Search Solutions, Inc., will begin a confidential review of application materials immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by Friday, March 4, 2022 will be given first consideration. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, and a letter of interest that addresses the opportunities and qualifications described above. All applications and nominations will be held in confidence. To apply online, go to:

For more information or to offer recommendations:
Caitlin Hummel

Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: 585-880-7550

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EOE, including disability/vets.