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Welcome back!

 | Aug 27, 2018

Welcome back!

Aug 27, 2018

It’s fall semester at Ohio University -- your first, and my 32nd!

Much happened over the summer, and a lot’s in store for this year. As you might know, it’s my final year as dean of the Russ College. I’ll retire at the end of June after 17 years at my post and return to the faculty in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I’ll keep you updated as my plans shape up. In the meantime, our college’s leadership council – a mix of dean’s office managers and our department chairs – will be working with the faculty, staff, students, and the Office of the Provost on the search for a new dean. We’ll keep you updated on that process as well.

Our Executive Vice President and Provost, who sets the university’s academic direction, is new himself. Dr. Chaden Djalali, a physicist, comes to us from the University of Iowa. He’ll be visiting the Russ College soon to learn more about us.

Dr. Djalali already knows about our outstanding entering class – it’s our largest ever with almost 450 entering undergraduate students! Our enrollment is at its peak as well. The Russ College will be home this fall to almost 1,900 undergraduate students total.

What have you been up to these last few months? See E-news for our own summer recap, but I’m proud to share a few highlights: One of our students was named a national Udall Scholar, our newest autonomous vehicle team won third in the world for design, our Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering celebrated its 50th anniversary, we hosted the first-ever manufacturing camp for Dayton-area kids, our new aviators lifted up disabled and terminally ill children with free flights, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gave OHIO the highest environmental stewardship award for our sustainability efforts – to name just a few. I hope these accomplishments inspire you as much as they do me!

To come: Our new Engineering Ambassadors will be pinned on Wednesday. Students, reach out to them with your ideas and concerns. We’ll also welcome a new student organization: a student chapter of the National Society of Professional Engineers.  One of the 2017 Russ Prize recipients, Christoph Hitzenberger, will visit from Austria to give a lecture on Sept. 20, and we’ll honor new Russ Prize recipients in February 2019.

And, we’ll continue to develop ideas for our new research facility, which will be constructed on West Union Street in the current WUSOC building. When our facility opens and research activity moves there from Stocker Center, space will be freed in Stocker for instructional labs and project team space. That means more space for everyone to do what we do best: create for good.

Best wishes for a productive and happy fall semester. Remember that my door is always open!


Dennis Irwin, Ph.D., P.E., F.NSPE

Dean and Moss Professor of Engineering Education