Human Ecology Dean Lisa Staiano-Coico named provost of Temple University

Lisa Staiano-Coico, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Dean of Cornell's College of Human Ecology (CHE), has been named provost of Temple University, effective July 1.

Staiano-Coico, who has been at Cornell for almost 30 years, has been dean since July 2004. Prior to her deanship, she served as executive director of the Tri-Institutional Research Program and vice provost for medical affairs and for external affairs at Weill Cornell Medical College.

"Dean Staiano-Coico has made significant contributions to Cornell and the College of Human Ecology. We will miss her energy and passion," said Cornell President David Skorton. "We are thrilled for Lisa and the opportunity this new assignment represents for her."

Alan Mathios, professor of policy analysis and management and senior associate dean for academic affairs and undergraduate education in CHE, will serve as interim dean until a new dean is selected.

Staiano-Coico's husband, Richard Coico, most recently Cornell's vice provost for intercampus affairs and professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, will become a professor of microbiology and immunology at Temple University's School of Medicine.

As dean, Staiano-Coico led a college with a $70 million budget (up from $57.4 million when she arrived), 1,200 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, more than 100 faculty members and an annual $23 million research program (up from $13 million three years ago).

"Being a part of the college has been a tremendous experience, both professionally and personally, and I am ever grateful for it," said Staiano-Coico. "The expertise of the faculty, the passion of the students and the dedication of the alumni are nothing short of inspirational. While it is certainly difficult to say goodbye after 30 years, I take with me a confidence and strength of purpose honed by being a part of this amazing Cornell community."

Under Staiano-Coico's leadership, CHE's research portfolio has not only increased in size but also in its interdisciplinary nature. Fifteen new faculty members have been hired, three with tenure, and the college's academic programs have expanded to include the first doctoral program in the country in apparel design; a new graduate concentration with the Cornell Law School in law, psychology and human development; a new program in global health and nutrition; and a new dual-degree master's program (MHA/MBA) in the Sloan Program in Health Administration with the Johnson School.

In addition, CHE has completed design for a north wing, the Human Ecology Center for Science and Design, which will house high-tech laboratories, the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design, a 6,000-square-foot student commons and a new underground parking garage. The college also is now in the process of renovating historic Martha Van Rensselaer Hall.

"Lisa has set the college on a far-reaching path of success as the premier institution of its kind," said Cornell Provost Biddy Martin. "Her enthusiasm and commitment played a key role in the growing collaborations between the colleges on the Ithaca campus and the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Becoming the provost of Temple University is a wonderful opportunity."

As Temple's provost, Staiano-Coico will be the university's top academic officer, responsible for the university's 17 schools and colleges, its undergraduate and graduate programs and its research enterprise. A public research institution with an enrollment of 35,000 students, Temple is the 27th largest university in the United States and among the country's largest providers of professional education.

Staiano-Coico earned her B.S. degree in biology with honors (1970) at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and her Ph.D. in microbiology (1981) at Cornell. After conducting postdoctoral research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1981-83), she joined the Cornell medical college faculty in 1983 and was subsequently promoted to professor of microbiology in surgery, professor of public health and professor of microbiology in dermatology. As the co-author of nearly 100 academic publications, Staiano-Coico focuses her research on both basic and translational aspects of epithelial cell biology.

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Nicola Pytell