The dean of the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science is stepping down in August 2019, and Binghamton University has launched an international search for his replacement.
Dean Krishnaswami Srihari first announced his plans to step down in June. The search for a new dean began in September 2018 and a committee has been assembled to fulfill the task. The committee is made up of Watson School faculty, two students, a member of the Binghamton University Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and it is chaired by Bahgat Sammakia, vice president for research at BU.
Under Srihari, the Watson School experienced research growth and an increased number of students and faculty. Sammakia wrote in an email that the University is looking for someone who can build on Srihari’s achievements and continue the Watson School’s advancement as a research institution.
“The University is looking for candidates who will be able to build upon the success and growth that the Watson School has attained in recent years under the leadership of Dean Srihari,” Sammakia wrote. “We feel that the Watson School is poised for growth and national prominence and for rising through the ranks of engineering schools in major research universities.”
The committee is considering applicants from all over the world. According to Sammakia, the candidate must be experienced as both a professor and an administrator, with experience in high-level teaching and leadership.
“The ideal candidate must have a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship and academic leadership that warrants appointment as a tenured full professor,” Sammakia wrote. “In addition, we expect to see an administrative record that demonstrates innovative and effective leadership in higher education and a collegial administrative style that promotes a sense of academic respect and collaboration with faculty, staff and students.”
Srihari developed several international partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia and South America while working for the Watson School. He also worked on promoting diversity in the Watson School by hiring their first diversity officer. Sammakia asks that the replacement candidates have strong networking skills and experience in developing diversity at an institution.
The committee is also looking for applicants who have their own vision for the future of the Watson School, a record in developing research and education at another institution and a respect for alternate approaches.
“The successful applicant will articulate an ambitious vision for the school and will have demonstrated experience with strategic planning, extramural funding, assessment, accreditation, graduate education and interdisciplinary approaches to research and education,” Sammakia wrote. “Candidates should respect a variety of approaches to scholarship and be able to foster an environment that supports interdisciplinary research, scholarship, teaching and service.”
The committee has until August 2019 to find a candidate to fill the position, but according to Sammakia, he hopes to extend an offer by the spring semester.