CU-Boulder Names Susan Avery Interim Dean Of Graduate School And Vice Chancellor For Research

Published: Sept. 6, 2004

Susan Avery, professor of electrical and computer engineering and outgoing director of CIRES, the largest institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been appointed interim dean of the Graduate School and vice chancellor for research, according to Provost Phil DiStefano.

Avery's appointment, approved by the Board of Regents last month, fills the positions vacated by Carol Lynch, following Lynch's 12 years as CU-Boulder's top research official.

"I am very pleased that Susan Avery has accepted my offer to be interim vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School," DiStefano said. "Susan brings a wealth of experience to the position as the former director of CIRES and professor of electrical engineering.

"Her commitment to interdisciplinary research and education fits the priorities that the chancellor and I have for the Boulder campus as part of our Quality for Colorado initiative," DiStefano said. Chancellor Richard Byyny launched the Quality for Colorado plan in 2001 to bolster campus programs that are strong but need additional resources and to nurture rising programs. The plan also aims to limit campus enrollment.

Avery has been director of CIRES, the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, since 1994 and has overseen steady growth in the institute's funding and programs, particularly in new interdisciplinary projects, in its outreach to K-12 students and in funding for graduate student fellowships.

CIRES is a joint institute of the CU-Boulder campus and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

Avery said the decision to move from the CIRES position to dean and vice chancellor for research was "difficult because I still see a lot of great opportunities for innovation and new programs at CIRES, and it's hard to leave.

"But 10 years also is a good time to reflect on where you've been and where you're going. I see opportunities to work on the next level of issues that I think will make this move a good one for me at this time," she said.

Avery said she plans to learn more about the humanities, fine arts and social sciences departments, and areas of "research entrepreneurship" on the Boulder campus while maintaining and enhancing campus strengths in engineering and natural science disciplines.

"We need to make sure we're making the right investments in our support of campus research and graduate education," Avery said.

"I'm looking forward to adding to the successes of Carol Lynch in terms of supporting research and graduate education and building partnerships and collaborations among departments and institutes," she said.

Lynch, who announced her resignation in April, will be a part-time faculty associate in the Office of Academic Affairs under DiStefano.

Avery began her new positions Aug. 16. Her annual salary will be $213,965.

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