Welcome to the last week of the semester, and also the last week of my tenure as Dean of Schmid College. In the summer of 2014, I arrived in southern California ready and excited to help move Schmid College forward in its mission of teaching, research, and outreach. During the last 4+ years, the faculty, students, and staff of the College have worked tirelessly to push us to remarkable heights of achievement. Those considerable efforts have culminated in the opening of the Keck Center for Science and Engineering, and with that the college finally has a home that is befitting of our excellence in the sciences.
I can honestly say that my time in Schmid College has been the most rewarding, exciting, and personally gratifying period of my career. I have had the honor to work with a large number of passionate individuals who share a vision for how to build an outstanding college of science. Given the remarkable volume of inspiring stories of student achievement that have emerged from Schmid College, it is clear that the vision is a good one, and that the implementation of that vision has resulted in some pretty impressive outcomes.
Now, largely due to our tremendous success, the University is ready to further expand its reach in the STEM disciplines with the founding of the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering, which will launch in academic year 19/20. Using our current computer science, software engineering, and data analytics degrees as a seed, the campus vision is to grow the School into a robust, rigorous, and differentiated destination for a diverse community of ambitious engineering students. I have been asked to lead that effort, and am honored to do so. It is my sincere hope that as I move over to the School of Engineering, we will maintain strong and meaningful connections to the sciences. Scientific discovery drives engineering innovation, and our loftiest engineering goals are enabled only through the production of new scientific knowledge.
In closing, I would like to thank the Schmid College leadership team, the College cabinet, our remarkable administrative and technical staff, the College’s supporters, my external advisory council, the student leadership council, and indeed the entirety of the College community for their steadfast trust and belief in my leadership. I hope to make you all proud of what we create in the Fowler School of Engineering – that School owes its legacy to Schmid College – and that is a very proud legacy, indeed!