Leadership: Changing of the Dean
Dean Lewis M. Duncan took his leave of Thayer School in July to become president of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. “Leaving Dartmouth is bittersweet,” said Duncan at his farewell gathering in June. “I’m excited about the new opportunities and challenges awaiting at Rollins, but saddened by leaving the exceptional Dartmouth academic community.”
During his six-year tenure, Duncan oversaw a tripling of Thayer School’s research activity, added breadth and depth to the school’s interdisciplinary focus, increased technology education for liberal arts students, expanded information technology initiatives with the College, and fostered entrepreneurial activities. Duncan also provided the leadership to bring the plans for the new MacLean Engineering Sciences Center to fruition.
As Thayer School conducts a national search for Duncan’s successor, Professor William Lotko is serving as interim dean and Professor Charles Wyman as interim senior associate dean for academic affairs.
Lotko joined the faculty in 1984 and served as senior associate dean for academic affairs for the past five years. During that time he organized a coalition of faculty to improve and expand Thayer School’s signature interdisciplinary systems approach to the Dartmouth undergraduate engineering core curriculum. “In today’s world, the emphasis is increasingly on interdisciplinary research and teaching,” he observes. “We can lead the way.”
Lotko also worked closely with Duncan to advance Thayer School’s academic and research programs and to develop new facilities. “As interim dean,” he says, “I am committed to working with our faculty, staff, and overseers, together with colleagues across Dartmouth, to ensure that the School remains on this forward trajectory during the transition period.”
An expert on space plasma physics, Lotko is principal investigator on Dartmouth’s Sun-Earth Connection Theory program and a co-investigator for the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling.
Professor Wyman, the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design, joined the faculty in 1998 after a long career in industry. His investigations into technologies for converting cellulosic biomass into fuels and other materials include analyses of economic and industrial challenges inherent in making cellulosic ethanol a commercial reality.
“The combination of Bill Lotko’s extensive service to Thayer School and Charlie Wyman’s previous administrative experience will provide strong leadership during the interim period,” says Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr. Thayer School hopes to name a new dean by next spring.
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