Penn State College of Engineering to restructure associate dean roles, fill newly created associate dean position

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Effective January 2018, Penn State College of Engineering will restructure the responsibilities of two associate dean positions in order to provide additional support for its goals in advancing undergraduate and graduate education and research.

Dr. Peter J. Butler, associate dean for education, will become the associate dean for undergraduate and professional graduate education, and will continue to provide leadership in implementing the College’s goals in undergraduate and graduate-level professional education. Dean Butler will lead efforts to redesign the pre-major undergraduate student experience, establish new entrance-to-major requirements, expand digital learning and professional graduate education opportunities and achieve gender equity among the College’s undergraduate population in six years.

Dr. George A. Lesieutre, associate dean for research, will become the associate dean for research and graduate programs. Moving from a part-time to full-time position, Dr. Lesieutre will continue to provide leadership in advancing the College’s goals in strengthening its research programs, with the added responsibilities of overseeing and advancing research-based graduate degree programs. Dean Lesieutre will work with departments and other University partners to increase the quality, size and impact of the College’s research-based graduate programs. He will focus on recruiting strategies, financial support and professional development of graduate students, interdisciplinary academic programs and program assessment.

In addition, the College of Engineering created a new position — associate dean for equity and inclusion — which will serve as the College’s chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer, focusing on inclusive excellence among all students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty and community. Witt/Keiffer is spearheading the search, which is currently under way.

“This restructure allows the College of Engineering to focus on achieving its many visions and goals, including becoming the leader in diversity, inclusion, equity and climate among large state colleges of engineering,” said Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, Justin Schwartz. “Drs. Butler and Lesieutre will work closely with one another in their expanded capacities, and with the addition of the associate dean for equity and inclusion, I am looking forward to our visions and goals becoming a reality.”

—Megan Lakatos