Carnegie Mellon University
August 23, 2012

News Brief: Brian Junker Appointed Associate Dean of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Contact: Shilo Rea / / 412-268-6094

Brian JunkerPITTSBURGH—Brian Junker, professor of statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, has been appointed associate dean for academic affairs for the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In this role, Junker will chair the Dietrich College Council and take a leadership role in administrating college curriculum, programs and policies.

"As an outstanding researcher and a gifted educator, Brian Junker is ideally suited for the associate dean position," said John Lehoczky, dean of the Dietrich College. "He has devoted a significant part of his career to educational research, so he will have  an important impact on both the undergraduate and graduate education programs of the Dietrich College."

In addition to serving as associate dean, Junker will continue to teach undergraduate and graduate classes within the Department of Statistics, advise graduate students and work with postdoctoral researchers. This fall, he will teach his popular "Multilevel and Hierarchical Models" course, which focuses on the statistical model used frequently in social science research.

"I am excited to get started working as the new associate dean," Junker said. "Within the Dietrich College, we are lucky to have academic departments that don't try to be everything to everyone — but what we do, we do extremely well. And, because of our interdisciplinary nature, it is also very easy for our students to pursue their interests across traditional academic boundaries.  I hope that I can facilitate even more of that kind of learning and accomplishment as associate dean."

Junker, who came to Carnegie Mellon as a postdoc in 1990, focuses on applications of statistics in education research, psychology and the social sciences.  He has worked in areas including nonparametric and Bayesian item response, unfolding and rating models, psychometric cognitive diagnosis models and predictive modeling of online tutoring systems, multiple-recapture census systems, statistical analysis of large randomized field trials in education, social network analysis and mixed membership models for longitudinal data in epidemiology. 

He is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and served as president of the Psychometric Society (2008-2009) and editor of its journal, "Psychometrika," from 2003-2007.  He is currently co-chair of the Design and Analysis Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and directs a postdoctoral training program for statistics in education research, in collaboration with RAND Corporation's Pittsburgh office.

Junker succeeds Kristina Straub, professor of English, who was associate dean for academic affairs from July 2002-July 2012.  During that time, Straub helped to establish the Humanities Scholars Program and lead a revision of the college's General Education Program.  She also led preparations for the last Middle States accreditation review and in subsequent work on assessment practices in the college.

For more information on Junker, visit