Second engineering dean candidate to present Nov. 15

Monday, November 12, 2018

Interim Dean of Engineering Arvin AgahLAWRENCE — The interim dean of engineering at the University of Kansas is the second of three candidates who will take part in on-campus interviews for dean of the school.

Arvin Agah, interim dean of engineering and professor of electrical engineering & computer science, will make a public presentation from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Spahr Engineering Classroom, 2 Eaton Hall. Members of the KU community are invited to attend the presentation and provide feedback of their impressions to the search committee, led by Ken Audus, dean of the KU School of Pharmacy.

Agah has been serving as interim dean of the school since July 2018, filling the role made vacant when the previous dean opted to return to a faculty role. Agah has been a member of the School of Engineering leadership team since September 2012 when he was selected to be associate dean for research and graduate programs. He’s been on the KU faculty since 1997, and in addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has served as associate chair for graduate studies for the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

His research focuses on applied artificial intelligence and mobile robotics. He has been a co-investigator on research grants totaling over $33 million. From 2007 to 2012 he was laboratory director of the Intelligent Systems Lab at KU’s Information & Telecommunication Technology Center. He is a prolific author and has served as an editor of three books and contributed to 100 journal articles, 83 conference proceedings and 17 technical reports. He has served as associate editor of the International Journal of Social Robotics since 2008, and he has contributed toward a number of other professional publications as an editor or journal reviewer.

He’s received numerous honors and awards, particularly for his efforts in the classroom. He received the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 2011, the ING Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010 and the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Celebration of Teaching Award in 2004. In 2000, students selected him to receive the Henry E. Gould Teaching Award. He has received the School’s Miller Scholar Award seven times. He was selected to participate in KU’s Senior Administrative Fellows program during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Agah has been a Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, an ASEE Faculty Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and a visiting lecturer at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He held an NSF postdoctoral fellowship at the Bio-Robotics Division, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in Tsukuba, Japan.

His professional experience includes several months in 2011 as a visiting scholar in research and development at Perceptive Software, now part of Hyland Software Inc. He also has worked as a computer consultant for a number of firms, including the accounting firm Ernst & Young (now EY), as a systems analyst and software engineering for an entertainment law firm in southern California, and as a researcher for both IBM and Xerox.

Agah earned a doctorate in computer science from the University of Southern California. He holds a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from USC, a master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. His professional memberships include the American Society for Engineering Education and senior member status in the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His service record includes numerous activities at the department, school and university level.

Candidates have been asked to present their ideas on factors they consider critical to the future success of the School of Engineering and how they, as dean, would leverage strengths and remove impediments to increase the school’s impact.

The university will release information about each candidate about two business days before the candidate’s visit. The final candidate presentation:

  • Candidate 3, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Nov. 30, 164 Ritchie Hall

The presentations will be recorded and available for viewing online after the final candidate has appeared on campus. Members of the campus community will have until Dec. 4 to provide their impressions and observations of each candidate online.

The dean of the School of Engineering oversees KU’s second largest academic unit on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, with more than 3,000 students. The school has dramatically expanded its facilities since 2012, adding five new buildings and 325,000 square feet of world-class research labs, state-of-the-art classrooms and enhanced collaboration spaces. In the past six years, the school has seen a 29 percent increase in bachelor’s degrees awarded and 15 percent increase in graduate degrees awarded.


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