Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering Timothy J. Anderson is stepping down as dean of the College of Engineering, effective January 6. Anderson, who has served as dean since 2013, will continue as a member of the faculty. Meanwhile, Christopher Hollot, a professor and the head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, has been named interim dean at the College of Engineering.
John McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, issued a statement to the college in tribute to Anderson and “all he has accomplished in bringing the College of Engineering to where it is today, a beacon of excellence and a source of pride to all of us at UMass Amherst.”
As McCarthy wrote, “In the five years that Tim has been dean, the College of Engineering has realized strategic growth in faculty, students, and programs. He has attracted an excellent and diverse faculty. Tenure-track faculty numbers have increased by 12.5 percent under his leadership. Undergraduate enrollment increased by 23 percent, graduate enrollment grew by 4 percent at the master’s level and 27 percent at the doctoral level – an important contributor to the college’s stature in research.”
During Anderson’s watch, the diversity of the faculty and students in the college has also increased in percentages of both underrepresented minorities and women.
Under Anderson, the College of Engineering raised $34.5 million in the UMass Rising campaign, exceeding its $33 million goal. He was instrumental in the creation of the Armstrong/Siadat Professorship in Materials Science and the Renewable Energy Chair. With 120 tenure-track faculty members, the college has received hundreds of grants and awards.
The college’s U.S. News and World Report ranking has also steadily increased during Anderson’s tenure. The college’s undergraduate rank is No. 59 overall and No. 33 among public universities, and graduate programs are No. 65 overall and No. 37 among public universities.
In the meantime, Hollot is replacing Anderson in the capacity of interim dean. As McCarthy said, “We are fortunate at this time of change to have Kris again step in with his broad experience in research and administration. The college is in good hands.”
Hollot received his B.S. in electrical engineering from West Virginia University, an M.S. in electrical engineering from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester. He joined UMass Amherst in 1984 and served as associate department head from 1994-96 and 2002-06. He has been ECE department head since 2006.
Hollot’s research interests are in feedback control theory and its applications, with recent work in computer networks and biomedical systems.
Among his honors, Hollot received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1988 and was elected an IEEE Fellow in 2004. The College of Engineering has designated him for its Outstanding Senior Faculty Award in 2004 and the ECE Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 1987, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2004. He won the Ben Dasher Award for Best Paper at the 2009 Frontiers in Education Conference in 2009. (December 2018)