Campus News in Brief

HCII Director Cassell steps down

Recently, Dean of the School of Computer Science Randy Bryant sent an email out to the college relaying that Director of the Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) Justine Cassell has stepped down.

According to the email, Cassell is stepping down from her role as director of the HCII in favor of a newly created position, assistant vice provost of technology strategy and impact.

“Given the many duties this position will require, Justine has decided to step down from the directorship of the HCII at the end of this academic year,” Bryant said in the email. “I am consulting with university administration on how we will make the transition to new leadership. She will, of course, remain a member of our faculty as well.”

In this new position, the email says, Cassell “will provide important leadership to university-level strategic initiatives, such as the recently announced Simon Initiative in human learning.”

Justine Cassell holds dual Ph.D degrees in psychology and linguistics from the University of Chicago, as well as degrees from institutions in Scotland and France, and has worked at Northwestern University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As director of the HCII, Cassell has made many improvements, including “outstanding new additions to the faculty; programmatic growth of the Institute’s educational programs; significant, successful fundraising efforts; the establishment of the Masters in Educational Technology and Applied Learning Sciences; and the enhancement of HCII’s physical facilities,” the email says.

**Dietrich College names new Dean*

Starting July 1, current head of the philosophy department Richard Scheines will become the new Dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Scheines, replacing the current Dean of Dietrich College, Thomas Lord professor of statistics John Lehoczky, has been head of the department of philosophy since 2005. Scheines has also served on three National Academy of Sciences committees as casual methodologist since 2005.

According to an email sent out by Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Kamlet, he is “extraordinarily well suited to be the Dietrich College’s next dean.”

Scheines has had many successes as head of the department of philosophy, the email says. “Under his leadership the department has thrived in both research and education. External research funding has more than tripled and is supporting interdisciplinary research in statistics, machine learning, brain science, mathematics, and other fields.”

Scheines was chosen as Dean by the Dietrich College Dean Search Committee, which was chaired by Richard G. Tucker, the Paul Mellon University professor of applied linguistics.

Lehoczky had been Dean of Dietrich College since 2000. After Scheines takes over, Lehoczky will resume his role as a professor in the department of statistics. A celebration of Lehoczky’s time at Carnegie Mellon is slated for later this spring.