Published October 23, 2015
Dear University Community:
I am writing to share with you that Dean E. Bruce Pitman has informed me of his plan to step down as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, in order to return to a full time faculty role as a researcher and educator. I will commence a search for the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences early in 2016.
Bruce was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2011. Bruce has led the College through a period of growth and change, advancing each of UB’s teaching, research, and engagement missions and will leave the College well-poised to build on this success for years to come.
The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most diverse academic unit on campus, delivering the majority of UB’s undergraduate credit hours, and spanning the full range of the liberal arts. Effectively uniting the College faculty requires a strong leader with the ability to reach across the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Bruce demonstrated this leadership in guiding the development of the College’s first-ever strategic plan, CAS@20, which aligns the College’s goals with UB priorities and seeks to advance the College’s and university’s reputational standing among the nation’s leading public research universities.
Under Bruce’s leadership, the College of Arts and Sciences has recruited 120 new faculty members, greatly enriching our scholarly community. The College has also launched numerous initiatives across the disciplines to enhance scholarly impact and interactions. In an innovative, cross-disciplinary initiative with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Bruce oversaw the creation of the Department of Materials Design and Innovation, which addresses the national demand for new materials in advanced manufacturing, energy, and biotechnology, as well as the Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering program, which builds institutional strength and a graduate program in this critical area. Bruce has also been integral to the creation of UB RENEW and the Communities of Excellence. To stimulate scholarly and creative production in the arts and humanities and provide new opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage with artists and scholars, the College launched several initiatives, including endowed visiting professorships in the arts and humanities, the Technē Institute, and, most recently, the Creative Arts Initiative.
The College of Arts and Sciences is at the heart of our signature “UB Curriculum,” UB’s new general education program, and also the implementation of Finish in 4 in 2012, which required the addition of 10,000 seats in key courses. Under Bruce’s leadership, the College has been instrumental in establishing the Center for Excellence in Writing, which supports writers at all levels across the university, and in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Women in Science and Engineering program, which provides programs and support to enhance the recruitment and success of female students in STEM fields. With Bruce at the helm, the College has increased research and experiential learning opportunities for students across disciplines and will continue to do so with the support of philanthropic gifts.
Bruce has been instrumental in enhancing relationships with College alumni and friends. Working with the Vice President for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, Bruce expanded programming and events to benefit College constituents, including the Scholars on the Road Lecture Series that brings College faculty to various cities to share their research with alumni and friends. To improve outreach, better promote the College and attract new students, Bruce is currently focused on enhancing graduate enrollment planning and communications efforts for the College.
Bruce has taken a proactive approach in response to the national issue of declining enrollment in the arts and humanities. His efforts as dean have resulted in the development of many new degree programs collectively referred to as Pathways that provide new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and links, focus on approaching problems, align with careers, develop targeted skills, and build on our faculty and institutional strengths. These programs provide a foundation on which the College will build as it continues to advance in future years.
Bruce holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Northwestern University and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Duke University in 1985. He joined UB’s Department of Mathematics faculty in 1989. Bruce has served in various administration positions at UB including Vice Provost for Educational Technology from 2000-2003 and Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs from 2003-2011. Throughout his administrative career, Bruce has maintained an active, funded research program. Working with colleagues at the Center for Computational Research, since 1999 he has organized an annual workshop on computational science for high school students.
For more information, please read the Reporter story.
Colleagues, please join me in thanking Bruce for his continued commitment and dedication to the College of Arts and Sciences and our university and in wishing him success as he completes his service as dean.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs