Published: Aug. 13, 2000

James Avery, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

A CU-Boulder faculty member since 1982, Avery has been one of the leaders of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory and initiative, an innovative, nationally recognized program that led a reform of the engineering curriculum focusing on interdisciplinary, hands-on learning. Avery has served as ITLL technical director since the program was initiated in 1993.

Avery served as associate chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering from 1990 to 1994, and he was a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences from 1983 to 1993. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Michigan State University and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Illinois.

"Jim will bring continued excellence in vision and leadership to this important position on our administrative team," engineering Dean Ross Corotis said in making the appointment. "Jim has been an excellent faculty member in the college for 18 years, and has had extensive experience with academic initiatives."

In addition to his numerous publications, Avery has made more than 50 presentations on research and education topics. He will be the general co-chair of the national Frontiers in Education conference to be held at CU-Boulder in 2003.

Avery will take over as chief academic officer for the college from Michael Lightner, who held the position for three years and will become the associate dean for special projects. The special projects position was reactivated to help the college meet its numerous academic goals.

Lightner will focus on implementing the college’s Discovery Learning Initiative, including the opening of the Discovery Learning Center in fall 2001, as well as on new initiatives in assistive technology and technology-enhanced learning, and coordination with the Colorado Institute of Technology to meet statewide goals for technology education.

He will continue to be part of the college’s executive team, which also includes Melvyn Branch, associate dean for research and administration.

"This is truly an exciting time for the college with many new projects and initiatives on the horizon, and I am thankful for the commitment of so many excellent people," Corotis said.

Corotis praised Lightner, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, for his excellent record of service to the college.

"Mike has performed at an absolutely fantastic level with both regular duties and new initiatives for the past three years," he said. "But it has become clear that there are too many opportunities to be handled through one person as associate dean for academic affairs. At his request, we have found a way to fulfill the academic aspirations of the college in an effective and balanced manner."