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Update on the Tickle College of Engineering Dean Search

Dean Janis Terpenny announced earlier today that she will step down from her role as dean of the Tickle College of Engineering effective immediately, rather than at the end of the academic year, in order to attend to an unexpected family health situation.

I am grateful for her leadership throughout these trying times.

I am pleased to announce that Matthew Mench, currently department head, Condra Chair, and Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, has agreed to serve as interim dean until a national search produces the next dean of the Tickle College of Engineering.

Based on nominations from the college’s faculty and staff, I have assembled the search committee. The committee will be led by Vice Chancellor for Research Deb Crawford and will be assisted by Paul Chou of Korn Ferry International.

In addition to Crawford, the members of the search committee are:

  • Joan Bienvenue, director of the Oak Ridge Institute
  • Jamie Coble, assistant department head, Southern Company Faculty Fellow, and associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering
  • Chris Cox, department head and Robert M. Condra Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Courtney Faber, research assistant professor and lecturer in the Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program
  • Paul Frymier, Tickle College of Engineering associate dean for faculty affairs and engagement and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • Travis Griffin, Fred D. Brown Jr. Director of Engineering Diversity Programs
  • Anahita Khojandi, director of the Reliability and Maintainability Engineering program and associate professor of industrial and systems engineering
  • Ami McBride, director of finance and administrative affairs for the Tickle College of Engineering
  • Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing
  • Orlando Rios, assistant professor of materials science and engineering
  • Joshua Sangoro, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • John Schmisseur, H. H. Arnold Chair and B. H. Goethert Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the UT Space Institute
  • Brian Shupe, executive director of development for the Tickle College of Engineering
  • Stephanie TerMaath, Jessie Rogers Zeanah Faculty Fellow and associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering
  • Leon Tolbert, Min H. Kao Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Brian Wirth, Governor’s Chair for Computational Nuclear Engineering

I will charge the search committee this afternoon. In that charge I will make clear our expectations that the committee meet with all the Tickle College of Engineering community to engage in a discussion about the search, desirable qualities for the next dean, and direction for the college in this pivotal time as we emerge from the pandemic.

During the search, I plan to be transparent regarding the process by providing updates via email and Zoom discussions. Please feel free to reach out directly should you feel more comfortable.

We have great confidence in the search committee, and I personally look forward to their recommendations on behalf of the college and university.

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor