Fauchet announces new roles, responsibilities in dean’s office

Philippe Fauchet, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of the School of Engineering, has announced a new structure for his office with a number of colleagues taking on new roles and responsibilities.

“These decisions reflect thoughtful review of our goals, especially our plans for strategic initiatives and growth, and more effective use of the school’s tremendous talent. As a result, the leadership team is expanding,” Fauchet said.

On Jan. 1, 2019, Cynthia B. Paschal will become Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. Paschal will fill a position held by K. Arthur Overholser, Senior Associate Dean and professor of biomedical engineering. Overholser will return to the faculty.

“Under Art’s leadership, we have achieved a number of successes affecting undergraduate engineering education. His wisdom and generosity of spirit have touched thousands of Vanderbilt engineering students,” Fauchet said.

“In addition to all the many duties related to undergraduate affairs that Art has handled so ably and professionally, Cynthia will oversee senior design and continue to oversee study abroad activities,” Fauchet said. For the past eight years, Paschal has served as Associate Dean responsible for industry relations, career services, and global education.

Associate Director for Academic Services Adam McKeever-Burgett, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Burgess Mitchell, and Assistant Dean for Design Tom Withrow will report to Paschal.

Effective Tuesday, Aug. 28, Peter Cummings, Duco Jansen, and William Robinson will continue as members of the leadership team with expanded responsibilities. In new roles, Christopher Rowe is Associate Dean for External Relations and Julie Vernon is Assistant Dean for Academic Programs.

In addition to his duties as Associate Dean for Research, Cummings will oversee the school’s summer research program, space planning in the school, the John R. and Donna S. Hall Engineering Lecture Series, and the relationship with Information Technology (VUIT). Cummings is the John R. Hall Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Formerly the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Jansen is now Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs. His new responsibilities include faculty development and the supervision of professional master’s programs and international graduate student recruitment. Joanne Wang, newly appointed director of Professional and Master’s Programs, will report to Jansen.

Formerly the Associate Dean responsible for diversity and inclusion, Robinson is now Associate Dean for Academic Success. In addition to inclusion and equity activities for faculty, students, and staff, Robinson’s responsibilities include student persistence, completion, and success with attention to underrepresented minority students, and the supervision of student organizations. Robinson will supervise the Emerging Scholars in Engineering Lecture. Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Burgess Mitchell also will report to Robinson.

In his new role as Associate Dean for External Relations, Rowe will be responsible for industry and foundation relations and the school’s Board of Visitors, and serve as liaison to the Vanderbilt Career Center. He will support the Chambers Family Entrepreneurial Lectureship and senior design sponsor relations. Rowe will continue to lead engineering communications as well as the A. James Clark Scholars Program. Yiorgos Kostoulas, associate professor of the practice of engineering management, is interim director of the Division of General Engineering.

In addition to these changes, this summer Fauchet appointed Julie Vernon as Assistant Dean for Academic Programs. Vernon is a research assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and executive director of a National Science Foundation grant, Southeastern Compact for

Inclusive Student Transitions in Engineering and Physical Sciences. Her work in STEM education research focuses on student retention, innovative pedagogy, and technology. In her new role, Vernon will manage the first-year experience, study abroad, and expand international graduate recruiting in Central and South America.

“Just as engineering research is a collaborative endeavor, the new structure of the dean’s office adds new talent, new responsibilities, and strengthens the leadership team’s substantial collaboration toward achieving our strategic goals,” Fauchet said.