This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

AD, SEAS dean searches under way

Published: March 15, 2012

While UB is wrapping up the search for the university’s next provost—an appointment is expected to be made early next month—two other top leadership searches are moving forward with the appointment of chairs and a search committee.

Leading the search for a new dean for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are committee co-chairs E. Bruce Pitman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Venugopal (Venu) Govindaraju, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, SEAS.

Named co-chairs of the committee to find a new athletic director to replace Warde Manuel, who left UB to become athletic director at the University of Connecticut, are Dennis Black, vice president for university life and services, and Francis M. Letro, a 1979 graduate of the UB Law School and vice chair of the UB Foundation board.

John Lambert, senior associate athletic director, is serving as interim athletic director.

Rajan Batta, professor of industrial engineering, has been serving as acting and then interim dean of SEAS since April when Dean Harvey Stenger was named interim provost.

“Since Dr. Stenger has left UB (he is now president of Binghamton University), it is important that we move forward and commence an international search for UB’s next dean of SEAS,” noted Bruce McCombe, interim provost who appointed the committee.

In addition to Pitman and Govindaraju, other members of the committee are Diana Aga, professor, Department of Chemistry, CAS; Amy Bisantz, professor, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, SEAS; Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Alexander Cartwright, vice president for research and economic development and professor of electrical and biomedical engineering, SEAS; Dennis Elsenbeck, chair of the SEAS Dean’s Advisory Council and regional executive of energy solutions services for National Grid's Western Division; June Hoeflich, UB Council member.

Also, Lindsey Kehl, student, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, SEAS; Hui Meng, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Toshiba Stroke Center and Department of Biomedical Engineering, SEAS; Sheldon Park, assistant professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, SEAS; Teresa Quattrin, UB Distinguished Professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and Alan Rabideau, professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, SEAS.

UB also has hired a consultant, Ilene Nagel of Russell Reynolds, to assist the search committee. Nagel, head of the higher education practice at Russell Reynolds, has assisted UB in other senior leadership searches, including the recent presidential search, the current provost search and the search that resulted in the appointment of Stenger as SEAS dean in 2006.

McCombe said the pool of candidates for the position will be developed during the summer, with finalists expected to visit campus during early fall. He expects to have a new dean in place by next January.

The search for a new athletic director is expected to take much less time—three months instead of the six to eight months usually associated with an academic search.

To assist in the search, UB has hired Parker Executive Search, a leading search firm with expertise in higher education and intercollegiate athletics recruiting, as well as familiarity with the UB community.

Representatives from the firm will come to campus soon to meet with key stakeholders, both within and outside the university.

In announcing the committee co-chairs, President Satish K. Tripathi noted that Manuel’s leadership as athletic director over the past six years, as well as the ongoing efforts of the entire UB athletics team “have set our university’s intercollegiate athletics program on a clear course of excellence.”

“We are very well-positioned to attract another very high-caliber candidate and we expect a very competitive national pool of candidates,” Tripathi said. “With this national search, we are seeking a leader who will sustain and build on this tradition of excellence and continue to shape a highly competitive Division I program that balances athletic and academic achievement.”