March 13, 2001

Five Finalists Remain For Engineering Post

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The Engineering Dean Search Committee released the latest list of candidates for the J. Silbert Dean of Engineering position, providing the college with some new options.

The current dean, John Hopcroft, will vacate the position when his term ends in June.

The search committee e-mailed the list and additional information to all engineering undergraduates on Friday, March 9. Faculty received notice of the candidates earlier last week in an e-mail from Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin.

Martin has worked to compile the short list of candidates from within Cornell faculty and through an external search committee which met “once a week since mid-September.”

“I feel optimistic that we will find one, or more than one [candidate] to be an outstanding dean,” she said.

Two initial candidates withdrew from the selection process to establish the final list of five. The two former candidates, who administrators would not name, cited various reasons for withdrawing.

“One of our internal candidates has decided that his research commitments make it impossible for him to serve a term as dean,” Martin stated in her e-mail to the engineering faculty.

The remaining candidates, including Profs. Clifford Pollock, electrical and computer engineering and Sidney Leibovich, mechanical and aerospace engineering, make up a group representing a broad range of talents from within Cornell and outside of Ithaca.

The candidates from other universities include University of California-Berkeley Prof. Alice Agogino, mechanical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Prof. Daniel Hastings, and Rice University Prof. Larry McIntire, who is also the chair of the Rice bioengineering department.

Hopcroft is pleased with the progress of the search and the candidates.

“It seems to be going okay, but I’m not really involved in any way in the process,” Hopcroft said.

He stated that whoever fills the position will have to confront a rapidly changing department.

“I think we’ve moved into a period where resources are