Candis Claiborn named dean of Engineering and Architecture

Candis Claiborn, who has been serving as the interim dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture since Aug. 16, 2005, today accepted an offer to become the permanent dean effective today, March 1.

Provost and Executive Vice President Robert Bates described Claiborn as an “outstanding researcher and teacher.”

“With Dr. Claiborn’s demonstrated leadership and solid grounding in the academic and research programs of the college, I expect the regional and national prominence of WSU Engineering and Architecture to advance significantly during her tenure as dean,” Bates said.

“I am very pleased and honored to have been selected to lead the College of Engineering and Architecture,” said Claiborn. “My focus will be on transforming the undergraduate and graduate student experience, addressing industry’s needs for engineers and architects, and developing research programs that address critical technological needs.”

Key research initiatives that address critical technological needs, she said, include ensuring future energy supplies; securing our critical infrastructures such as cyberspace and the power grid; developing new biomedical technologies and breakthroughs; and safeguarding our environment and resources for future generations.

Prior to her current position, Claiborn served as associate dean in the college. She joined the WSU faculty in 1991 and is a well-known researcher in the area of air quality. At WSU, she has collaborated with other researchers in the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research to study atmospheric-biospheric interactions of trace gases, and recently she has developed a research program in atmospheric aerosols, in which she collaborates with her colleagues in the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, as well as others in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, the Chemistry Department at Eastern Washington University, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Claiborn has received several teaching awards in her department, including Outstanding Teaching Faculty in Civil Engineering in 1994, the Leon Luck Faculty Award for the Most Effective Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1998, the Outstanding Teaching Faculty in Civil Engineering in 1999 and the Richard Crain Faculty Award for Distinction in Ethics Teaching in 2003.

Claiborn received her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Idaho in 1980. After graduation, she worked in the petroleum industry for Chevron and then for Atlantic Richfield Corporation. She returned to college at North Carolina State University, where she received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

The Office of the Provost in November 2004 appointed a search committee, chaired by Mike Griswold, dean of the College of Sciences. The search committee collaborated with A.T. Kearney, which provided input and assistance. Anjan Bose, former dean of Engineering and Architecture, rejoined the faculty in August 2005.

Search committee members were:
• Firas Akasheh, graduate student
• Devon Anderson, director, Development
• Dave Bahr, associate professor, MME
• Mike Brice, Brice Consulting
• Shira Broschat, professor, EECS
• Denny Davis, professor and scientist, Biological Systems Engineering
• Jose Delgado-Frias, interim chair of EECS
• Tom Dickinson, professor, Physics
• Dan Dolan, professor of Structural Engineering Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Greg Kessler, director and associate professor, Architecture & Construction Mgmt
• Max Kirk, coordinator, CM program
• Brian Lamb, professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Gayle Landeen, administrative manager, ME
• Charles R. Lang, associate professor, Area Coordinator Computer Sciences
• Cill Richards, associate professor, MME
• Joan Wu, associate professor, BSE

The other two finalists were Jinglu Tan from the University of Missouri, who visited on Jan. 19 and 20, and Ken Williamson from Oregon State University, who visited on Jan. 30 and 31.

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