I am pleased to announce the appointment of Samuel B. Mukasa as dean of the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE), effective August 31, 2016, and pending approval by the Board of Regents in July.
As dean, Sam will be chief executive officer and chief academic officer of CSE, the University's second-largest college, which spans 12 departments and is ranked among the top engineering and science academic programs in the country. He will provide strategic and intellectual leadership and administrative oversight for the school and will work to advance its research, teaching, and service. Members of the College and the University community as a whole recognize that the college is in excellent shape, with a superb balance of and synergy between its science and engineering units. Sam will work to preserve and enhance the excellence of the college, and that balance, and he will also collaborate with other campus deans to strengthen the University's collective mission.
Sam comes to the University from the University of New Hampshire, where he has been dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Eric J. Essene Professor of Geochemistry. Previously, he spent 21 years on the faculty of the University of Michigan, where he was chair of the Department of Geological Sciences from 2007 to 2010. As dean at New Hampshire since 2011, he has led the development of a strategic plan for the college, new undergraduate degree programs, and faculty cluster hiring initiatives to enhance interdisciplinary scholarship.
Sam also has successfully led fundraising efforts, securing $17 million in the past three years alone for student scholarships, in addition to raising an additional $8 million for new facilities supporting entrepreneurship, campus-industry partnerships, and experiential learning opportunities for students. He also was part of the team that helped to launch the new School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at UNH. A longtime champion of diversity in STEM fields, he has implemented K-12 pipeline and mentorship programs and a successful program to bring women and people of color into faculty and academic leadership positions.
Sam holds a Ph.D. in geochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.S. in geology from Ohio State University and a B.S. in geology from UNH. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York. He also received a D.Sc. honorary degree from Nkumba University, Entebbe, Uganda, in 2008. He is highly regarded for his research in geochemistry, geochronology, and petrology. His work on the origin and evolution of rocks in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean regions has helped to shed new light on the evolution of continents and has relevance to issues of climate change. He has served as president of the Geochemical Society and in leadership positions for programs at the National Science Foundation and National Academy of Sciences focused on polar climate issues, among many other scientific and professional leadership roles. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America.
Please join me in welcoming Sam to the University of Minnesota. I am confident that his strategic leadership experience will advance the quality, reputation, and impact of CSE--building on the exemplary leadership of Steve Crouch, who will step down after serving as dean since 2005. I want to extend my appreciation to CFANS Dean Brian Buhr for chairing the search and to all the members of the search committee for their hard work and dedication. I also want to thank the faculty, staff, and students who took time to provide invaluable feedback on the dean candidates.
Executive Vice President and Provost
Email sent to all faculty and the administrative mail list on June 14, 2016.