Patricia E. Beeson was elected provost by the University’s Board of Trustees in June 2010.
As provost and senior vice chancellor, she is the University's chief academic officer, exercising general oversight over academic affairs on all five Pitt campuses. She works closely with Chancellor Gallagher and other members of the University’s leadership team, providing the academic vision and the fiscal discipline to foster future success in an environment characterized not only by nearly limitless opportunities but also by clearly limited resources. As provost, she is responsible for initiating and promoting the University’s commitment to excellence in education and research and to strong partnerships in community development, while also securing an adequate resource base and ensuring Pitt's operational effectiveness. In addition to leading the University's efforts to advance teaching and research, she has administrative responsibility for numerous University-wide centers and support services, student affairs, computing and technology, and the offices of research, research compliance, and technology management.
Beeson earned a BS in economics from Oregon State University and a PhD in economics at the University of Oregon. She came to Pitt as a professor of economics in 1983. As a member of the economics faculty, she built a distinguished research career specializing in urban, regional, and labor economics, particularly the role that institutions of higher education play on local and regional economies. Her academic work led to administrative appointments, and she served the University as associate dean for undergraduate studies in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (2001-2004), vice provost for graduate studies (2004-2005), and vice provost for graduate and undergraduate studies (2006-2010) before assuming her current position.
She is chair of the University Planning and Budgeting Committee, the Council of Deans, and the Information Technology Steering Committee, which coordinates information technology activities for the University. She is also co-chair of the University’s Facilities Planning Committee, and the principal liaison to the Academic Affairs and Libraries Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Beeson serves on several national and local committees and boards, including the boards of the Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, the public policy research affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Vibrant Pittsburgh, a local non-profit committed to promoting a more diverse workforce, and the MPC Corporation, a joint venture between Pitt and Carnegie Mellon for which she alternately serves as president and vice president. Nationally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Council of Academic Affairs of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the APLU task force on Managing University Intellectual Property, and has served on the APLU Voluntary System of Accountability Task Force on Core Educational Outcomes. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum.