Provost Nathan Urban addressed concerns about the university's COVID-19 testing plan at a meeting on Nov. 19. (Courtesy of Lehigh University)

Nathan Urban announced as new provost


Nathan Urban was announced as the new provost, as Pat Farrell steps down from the role in June, according to an email sent to the Lehigh community from President John Simon on March 2.

Urban will also assume the role of senior vice president for academic affairs. He is currently the vice provost of graduate studies and strategic initiatives at the University of Pittsburgh, according to the email.

Following a global search of candidates, Urban was selected “as the ideal choice to help us continue our efforts to build a stronger university,” Simon said in the email.

Simon said in the email Urban helped to improve communication between the students and the administration at the University of Pittsburgh, and he created a better graduate student experience and sense of community.

Urban is also associate chair of the department of neurobiology and professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He was previously head of the department of biological sciences from 2010-14 and interim provost from 2014-15 at Carnegie Mellon University. 

With a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a B.S. in neuroscience, math and philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, Urban earned his undergraduate degree in math and philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. His work, which focuses on brain activity and analysis of behavior, has been published in scientific journals.

As provost, Urban will bring new ideas for ongoing initiatives like GO: The Campaign for Lehigh and the Path to Prominence. He will work with the rest of the administration to continue to make an impact in teaching, research and service, Simon said in the email.

Urban said in the university announcement he wants to be a part of Lehigh’s developing connection the the community and alumni, and he has a vision of continuing to improve the student experience while emphasizing a quality education and strong faculty.

Urban will replace Farrell on June 30.

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