Published: June 30, 2022

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell Moore today named Keith Molenaar dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, effective July 1.

Moore said that in his interviews with the finalists, Molenaar’s approach impressed him on multiple levels. 

Keith Molenaar“I was impressed by Keith’s vision for CEAS, which is grounded in values such as diversity, equity and inclusion, and which is laser-focused on student success,” said Moore. 

“Keith laid out a pathway for taking CEAS to new levels of success built on a highly energetic and collaborative leadership style, and he did so with a clear sense of how the college could fit into the campus’s larger structures and directions. All of these came together in a way that gave me confidence that Keith is the right leader for CEAS at the right moment for the university,” Moore said.

Molenaar, who has been acting dean since January 2020, is the K. Stanton Lewis Professor of Construction Engineering and Management in CEAS. He received his doctoral and master’s degrees in civil engineering from CU Boulder, and his bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering also from CU Boulder. After a brief and successful appointment as an assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Molenaar returned to CU Boulder in 1999 as assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering. 

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead and serve our extraordinary college of engineering,” said Molenaar. “This fall, I will engage the college community in creating a five-year vision with big ideas, bold initiatives and positive change. I will continue the great work the college is doing with the IDEA Plan and am fully committed to building an inclusive culture.

“We have been galvanized as a cohesive and highly effective team through the challenges of the past two years, and our future is now wide open,” added Molenaar.

Molenaar earned a Fulbright Scholarship in 2006–07 and was awarded the Toulmin Medal by the Society of American Military Engineers in 2003. He was named to the Pan-American Academy of Engineering in 2012 and the National Academy of Construction in 2017. He was recognized as a fellow of the Design-Build Institute of America in 2019.

“I’d like to thank Scott Adler, dean of the Graduate School and chair of the search committee, for his leadership of this search, as well as the members of the committee for their outstanding work throughout the search process,” said Moore.

Molenaar will succeed Bobby Braun, who stepped down from his position as dean in January of 2020 to join the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory executive leadership team.

The dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences serves on the provost’s cabinet.