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Satish Tripathi Named Provost of University at Buffalo

Computer scientist has been dean of Bourns College of Engineering at UC Riverside

By Arthur Page

Release Date: April 21, 2004

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Satish K. Tripathi has been named provost of the University at Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Satish K. Tripathi, Ph.D., dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside, has been named provost of the University at Buffalo by UB President John B. Simpson.

Tripathi, who will take office as UB's chief academic officer on July 1, has been dean of the engineering college and the William R. Johnson, Jr. Family Distinguished Professor of Engineering at UC Riverside since 1997. He also served as acting executive vice chancellor from March 2002 through June 2002.

Prior to joining UC Riverside, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19 years as a faculty member in the department included being chair from 1988-95.

Tripathi is an internationally accomplished computer scientist who has been involved in substantial funded research. He has published more than 200 scholarly papers, supervised 25 doctoral students and served on program committees of numerous international conferences.

"I am very honored and pleased to name Satish Tripathi as UB's new provost," said Simpson. "Satish is a man of the highest integrity and personal scholarly distinction. He is very intelligent, analytical and has built a first-rate faculty at Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside in a short period of time. Following a strategic plan, he expanded the college from a single department and one research center to four departments and five interdisciplinary research centers. In doing so, he demonstrated commitment to both undergraduate and graduate programs and students.

"Satish also is keenly interested in, and knowledgeable about, the relationship between a university community and industrial partners, including intellectual property and technology transfer," Simpson added.

"I am delighted that the search process for a new provost, launched just three months ago, produced three outstanding finalists who visited campus last month and has led to the selection of Satish Tripathi as UB provost."

The search committee was named by Simpson to identify a successor to Elizabeth D. Capaldi, Ph.D., who resigned earlier this year to become SUNY vice chancellor and chief of staff, interviewed 12 candidates from a field of more than 40 who were nominated for the post. Based on its interviews and candidates' records of achievement and references, the committee invited Tripathi and two other finalists to participate in March in two-day visits to UB during which they had an opportunity to meet with students, faculty, deans, university officers and members of the administrative staff.

The committee was chaired by A. Scott Weber, professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and director of UB's Center for Integrated Waste Management.

"As an accomplished scholar and proven administrator, Professor Tripathi will help chart a path to sustained and enhanced excellence for all of UB," Weber said. "He is a person of great energy, warmth and collegiality, whose style will mesh wonderfully with President Simpson's. It is exciting for all of UB to have a dynamic leadership team in place. I am delighted that Professor Tripathi has accepted the UB provost position."

Diane R. Christian, a member of the search committee who is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of English in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, noted that with the selection of Tripathi, "UB gets a distinguished scholar, a supple intelligence and a delightful person. He has vision, strength and humor. He taught a Google inventor. He's a prize and we're very happy to welcome him."

Tripathi said he is "delighted to be selected as UB's next provost. This is an opportunity to join a very good institution that is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and to join with President Simpson in taking it to greater heights.

"The University at Buffalo," Tripathi added, "has tremendous potential. I am most impressed with its comprehensiveness and the educational opportunities provided to students through its more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. With its full complement of professional schools and vast array of research centers, it also has the parts in place to be a leading university. UB also is a very important part of the community, with strong relationships with the business and corporate community upon which to build to the benefit of the university and the region."

UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering is one of the fastest growing schools of engineering in the U.S. Under Tripathi's leadership, it has grown from a single department and one research center to four departments and five interdisciplinary research centers. The number of students has grown from 550 to approximately 2,000 and approximately 50 new faculty members have been recruited. The number of graduate students has grown from 37 to 289 in master's and doctoral programs.

Tripathi said that in expanding the college and its programs, his vision has been for it to become "a top-25 engineering school" and a nationally recognized leader in engineering research and education. Toward that goal, he developed a five-year strategic plan and has recruited professors from top-ranked engineering departments.

Under his leadership, the college also has enhanced the experience of undergraduate students, implemented a strategic communications plan, and created a development and alumni affairs office. During the past two years, the college has led the university's development efforts, raising approximately $6.5 million per year. Tripathi also has established a College Council of Advisors, consisting of senior executives from local and national corporations, as well as an Industrial Affiliates Program, the membership fees of which provide discretionary funds for scholarships, equipment and events.

Tripathi has worked closely with civic leaders in Riverside to attract and retain high-tech companies. He serves on the board of directors of SmartRiverside, a nonprofit organization working to educate citizens on technology issues that recently launched a free, wireless Internet service in downtown Riverside.

He has been the guest editor or guest co-editor of several scientific journals and is a founding member of the editorial board of IEEE Pervasive Computing. A member of the editorial board of International Journal of High-Speed Networks, he previously was on the editorial boards of Theoretical Computer Science, IEEE Transactions on Computers, ACM Multimedia Systems and ACM/IEEE Transactions on Networking.

Tripathi is a fellow of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was a visiting professor at the University of Paris-Sud in France and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany while at the University of Maryland.

A native of India, Tripathi graduated top of his class from Banaras Hindu University in India in 1968. In addition to a doctorate in computer science that he earned from the University of Toronto in 1979, he holds three master's degrees -- one in computer science from the University of Toronto (1976) and two in statistics from the University of Alberta (1974) and Banaras Hindu University (1970).