University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced that Robert H. Davis, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, will step down as dean and return to the chemical and biological engineering faculty effective on or about June 30, 2017. Moore plans to launch a targeted national search for the next dean in January 2016.
Davis has been dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science since 2002 and a CU-Boulder faculty member for 33 years. He holds the Tisone Endowed Chair and has been recognized with a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, an American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Outstanding Young Faculty Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors.
“During his tenure, Rob has overseen advances on all fronts and raised the bar for growth, performance and culture within the College of Engineering and Applied Science,” Moore said. “When Rob started as dean, the college enrollment was 14 percent women and 6 percent underrepresented minorities in the first-year class. Today, the first-year class boasts 32 percent women and 18 percent underrepresented minorities.”
Moore added that the national reputation of the college’s research has advanced under Davis’ tenure and research awards have grown from $37.5 million in 2003 to $83 million in 2015.
During Davis’ tenure the college has launched several new programs including the Broadening Opportunities through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center, the Engineering Honors Program, the Engineering Leadership Program and three Residential Academic Programs (RAPs). He also championed the creation of eight new undergraduate and graduate degree programs and for the ATLAS Institute to join the college.
In addition, Moore noted that Davis’ launch of the strategic plan Engineering 2020 has the college on a path to be ranked among the top 20 U.S. engineering programs and double the enrollment of students in the time period from 2007 to 2020.
“In addition to rising in rankings, the college is on pace to enroll 8,000 students by fall 2020 while also increasing student quality and diversity,” Davis said. “This success would not be possible without the support of the college faculty and staff. In the coming months and years I will continue to work toward achieving the goals outlined in the 2020 strategic plan and support the incoming leadership in whatever ways I can moving forward.”
Davis’ research and teaching interests are in biotechnology, complex fluids and membrane separations with more than 200 reviewed publications in these fields, plus six publications on teaching and mentoring. He has supervised over 60 graduate students, 12 postdoctoral associates and 150 undergraduate students on related research projects.
Davis joined the CU-Boulder faculty in l983 after completing his doctorate at Stanford University in l982 and then spending an academic year at Cambridge University as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree in chemical engineering at Stanford University before continuing on to complete his doctorate.
Malinda Miller-Huey, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3115