Carnegie Mellon University

Dear Members of the Carnegie Mellon University Community:

Following an international search, I am delighted to announce that Dr. Rebecca Doerge, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Statistics at Purdue University, has been appointed dean of the Mellon College of Science (MCS), effective Aug. 1. Rebecca will hold joint faculty appointments in the Department of Biological Sciences in MCS and the Department of Statistics in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Trained as a statistician and mathematician, Rebecca brings more than 25 years of experience as a scholar, educator and leader to CMU. She has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to the personal and intellectual growth of students and values the importance of nurturing an academic environment in which learning and discovery can thrive. Collaboration across disciplinary borders is a hallmark of her own scholarship and academic leadership, and she has exhibited a deep appreciation for supporting basic research.

Those qualities make Rebecca an ideal leader for MCS and a champion for science throughout Carnegie Mellon at this important moment. Science is in our DNA as a university, and touches on the work that all of us do, across colleges and centers. A strong foundation in science is a touchstone of our education. And in order to advance our understanding of fundamental questions in nature and develop solutions to problems of societal importance, we must continue to carry out research at the frontiers of science. As dean, Rebecca will work closely with MCS faculty and staff, fellow deans and academic leaders, and CMU’s senior leadership to support interdisciplinary research and educational initiatives in MCS that advance these institutional goals. I look forward to working with Rebecca as she builds upon our legacy as a uniquely diverse center of academic excellence in the sciences, while charting a course toward transformative developments in the years to come.

A member of the faculty at Purdue since 1995, Rebecca holds a joint appointment between the Colleges of Science (Department of Statistics) and Agriculture (Department of Agronomy). From 2010-2015, she served as head of Purdue’s Department of Statistics, overseeing its growth into one of the largest departments of statistics in the country. An elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she has authored over 120 scientific articles, published two books and mentored 23 Ph.D. students.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Institute of Statistical Sciences and the Mathematical Biosciences Institute. Rebecca’s research focuses on statistical bioinformatics, which brings together multiple scientific disciplines to investigate and disseminate biologically interesting information, and further understand the ultimate function of DNA and epigenomic associations.

I would like to thank the following members of the search committee for their diligence and enthusiasm throughout the search process: Neil Donahue (co-chair), professor, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Engineering and Public Policy; Irene Fonseca (co-chair), University Professor, Mathematical Sciences; Catalina Achim, professor, Chemistry; Markus Deserno, associate professor, Physics; Eric Grotzinger, senior adviser, Campus Affairs; Veronica Hinman, associate professor, Biological Sciences; William Hrusa, professor, Mathematical Sciences; Jelena Kovačević, University Professor and head, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Russell Schwartz, professor, Biological Sciences and Computational Biology; and Randall Feenstra, professor, Physics.

Rebecca will succeed Dean Fred Gilman, who announced last fall that he would step down, having served since 2007. I want to reiterate my gratitude to Fred for his many years of dedicated leadership and service to MCS, and I look forward to celebrating his leadership with you in the fall.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Rebecca.


Farnam Jahanian
Provost and Chief Academic Officer