Justin Schwartz

Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering

On August 15, Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering, began serving as the interim executive vice president and provost for Penn State.

Dean Schwartz currently oversees more than 400 faculty members, more than 12,000 students, and approximately $250 million in total expenditures within the College of Engineering. He has grown the College of Engineering’s tenure-line faculty by approximately 10% per year for four consecutive years. He launched the Engineering Equity Initiative, with the aim of building a more inclusive academic community and a more equitable engineering workforce. As part of this initiative, Dean Schwartz created the position of associate dean for equity and inclusion; increased the diverse demographics every year; promoted corporate and alumni fundraising in support of equity; transformed scholarship awarding protocols, significantly improving female and underrepresented yield; and created an allies program to engage non-underrepresented students and male students as equity partners. Since the launch of the initiative, the scholarship awarding process in the college was overhauled to better identify students with both the academic acumen and grit needed to become the best engineers, which increased yield of awarded students from 16% to 41%. The faculty promotion and tenure process was also revised to better recognize and reward professional activities not traditionally acknowledged, such as entrepreneurship, outreach, and mentorship.

Dean Schwartz has helped to grow the college’s endowments by about $50 million a year. He helped lead the establishment of the Clark Scholars program, a $25 million endowment—$15 million gift from the Clark Foundation and $10 million from Penn State — which will support 40 full-time undergraduate students that are selected based on merit and financial need.

He was also instrumental in the creation of the “Law, Policy and Engineering Initiative,” which brings together faculty from the College of Engineering, Penn State Law, and Penn State School of International Affairs. This initiative is the first of its kind in the world and has established research and scholarly collaborations across multiple disciplines. He also helped establish the Global Building Network, a partnership between Penn State and the United Nations to foster an internationally connected community of built environment researchers and educators, facilitating the training of the next generation of built environment professionals to not only independently innovate but also collaborate to scale and translate local solutions globally.

Some other notable initiatives that Dean Schwartz has helped established and lead include Penn State’s partnership with Project Drawdown; transitioning entrance to major from four semesters to two semesters; initiation of the “Exposure to Major” video and content series; creation of numerous seed grants; and strengthening the college’s relationship with the Applied Research Lab.

Dean Schwartz’s research interests include superconducting, magnetic and multiferroic materials and the systems they enable. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed journal articles and has graduated 45 doctoral and master’s students in six academic disciplines.

Dean Schwartz is a fellow of the IEEE, AAAS and ASM-I.