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Syracuse names new dean of College of Engineering and Computer Science

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University on Monday announced the selection of J. Cole Smith as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS).

Smith comes to Syracuse from Clemson University, where he’s been serving as associate provost for academic initiatives and previously served as chair of the school’s department of industrial engineering, Syracuse said in a news release.

J. Cole Smith (Photo credit: Syracuse University news website)

Smith’s appointment, which was approved by the executive committee of the board of trustees, is effective Oct. 1.

“We are excited to welcome Cole to Syracuse,” Michele Wheatly, vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, said in the school’s news release. “We are fortunate to bring to campus a forward-thinking academic leader, an energetic visionary and an accomplished innovator of his stature and experience. ECS is at a pivotal time in its history, and we believe the search committee has found just the right leader to steer the college to the next level of growth and distinction.”

Wheatly formed a search committee in February, following the departure of Dean Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg for Texas Christian University. In the months that followed, professor Can Isik served as interim dean.

“I am grateful that Can took on this additional leadership role during a time of transition,” said Wheatly. “Thanks to Can and his colleagues, ECS is poised for even greater accomplishments under the new dean.”

Smith said he was “first drawn to the opportunity” at Syracuse by the college’s “reputation for creating engineering and computing solutions for pivotal societal needs,” per the news release.

“I understood immediately what a privilege it would be to lead the College of Engineering and Computer Science, situated in such a prestigious institution like Syracuse University. But it was not until my visit to the area that I witnessed the culture of collegiality and sincerity that is a hallmark of Syracuse University,” Smith said in the school’s news release. “There are unparalleled opportunities for education, research, inclusion and societal impact within this college, and I am truly excited to begin serving the students, staff and faculty in ECS as dean.”


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