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Ohio University engineering college announces leadership changes

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 16, 2005) -- The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University announces several leadership changes.

Jerrel R. Mitchell, senior associate dean for research and graduate studies, will step down from his position at the end of August.

Michael E. Prudich, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, also will step down, at the end of the 2005-2006 academic year.

Mitchell will return to his academic home in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to teach and conduct research. He also will continue as director of the Robe Leadership Institute and will coordinate Russ College summer session courses.

"It has been a great pleasure and an honor for me to have served the Russ College in administrative roles, so my decision to step down was not easy," Mitchell said. "However, as I approach planned retirement in a few years, I thought it was time for a change."

Mitchell has been a Russ College administrator for more than 19 years, including serving as chair of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1986-1996 and as interim dean from 2000-2002.

"Dr. Mitchell brought unprecedented direction to the Russ College. Under his leadership, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science achieved a new level of excellence. He also managed the entire college through a challenging leadership transition," Irwin said.

Stocker Visiting Professor Angie Bukley, who teaches electrical engineering, will assume the position on an interim basis. Bukley has more than 20 years of professional experience in defense and space systems. She has directed a broad range of research and development efforts during her career working with NASA, the USAF, and other national security organizations. A faculty member of the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France, she has held department and team project chairs during the ISU Summer Session Program since 1995.

"It has been a pleasure to serve as the Stocker Visiting Professor. Now I look forward to my new role in the college and am delighted to have the opportunity to leverage my experience to promote the growth and expansion of our research efforts," Bukley said.

Prudich, who joined the Russ College in 1984, will have served as chair for twelve years. He also served as director of the Ohio Coal Research Center and was founding program manager of the Ohio Coal Research Consortium.

"I feel that it's time for a leadership change in the Department of Chemical Engineering. New blood will provide different perspectives and enable the department to continue to advance its research and teaching agendas," Prudich said. "I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges that I will encounter as I continue my post-chair career as a member of the faculty," he said.

The announcement of Prudich's replacement will be made during the coming academic year.

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