Carnegie Mellon University


Rebecca Culyba, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff to the Provost

Rebecca Culyba serves as vice provost for strategic initiatives and chief of staff to the provost. Culyba is responsible for the central coordination of all functions and activities of the Office of the Provost and provides broad oversight of administrative support services, executive communications, and financial and business operations within our team. She provides counsel and management support to the provost and chief academic officer, primarily at the intersection of the provost’s initiatives and academic administrative operations.

Culyba is a member of the president’s executive management team and serves on a number of university committees that further academic initiatives for CMU, including serving as co-chair for the university’s Data Stewardship Council and the university liaison to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has chaired several key leadership searches, including the searches for the vice provost for institutional effectiveness and planning, the vice provost for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, executive director of the CMU Rales Fellows Program, vice provost for Enrollment Management and dean of Admission, as well as several dean searches.

During her time in this role, she has been instrumental in furthering the work of the Provost Priorities, including her involvement in establishing the Student Success Steering Committee, co-chairing and launching the Data Stewardship Council, advancing CMU’s commitment to growing student access and affordability, and furthering our global education strategy as an institution. Dr. Culyba had an integral role in establishing CMU’s Artists and Scholars at Risk program, which welcomes threatened scholars and practitioners – connecting them to Pittsburgh-based opportunities, enrollment and on-campus housing at no cost. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as a subject matter expert member of the university's COVID Coordination Team and the Emergency Operations Core Team in the development and implementation of return to campus and hybrid learning plans for the university.

Culyba first joined CMU in 2015 as director in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Previously, she served as a senior program administrator at the UPMC Center for High Value Health Care and Director of Research and Evaluation at the Southeast AIDS Training and Education Center in Emory University’s School of Medicine, where she was also a senior associate faculty.

Within the community, Culyba volunteers with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) for the Allegheny County Health Department. She serves on the board of directors for the New Hazlett Theater and is the alumnae admissions coordinator for the Smith College Club of Greater Pittsburgh.

Culyba holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Smith College, a master’s degree in communication, culture and society from the University of London’s Goldsmiths College, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University.