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5 finalists named to become Illinois State University's first College of Engineering dean

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Eric Stock
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WGLT file
University officials are targeting the fall of 2025 for enrollment of the first engineering class of an estimated 130 students, rising to 520 students by the fourth year.

Students, faculty and staff this month can meet the five finalists who want to become Illinois State University's first dean of the new College of Engineering.

Each of the five finalists will participate in an open forum during a campus visit. Here's the schedule for those visits. Here are the finalists:

  • Paul D. Plotkowski, founding dean and professor, Padnos College of Engineering & Computing, Grand Valley State University in Michigan
  • Don Peterson, dean, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University
  • Thomas Keyser, dean, Engineering, Technology and Management, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Bruce Berdanier, former Lohr Endowed Dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, South Dakota State University
  • Ramaraja Ramasamy, associate dean, College of Engineering, University of Georgia (UGA)

ISU says its new College of Engineering was designed with an equity lens to help close long-standing gaps in enrollment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented and underserved students in the engineering field. ISU is targeting the fall of 2025 for enrollment of the first class of an estimated 130 students, increasing to 520 students by the fourth year.

Next steps include a national search for department chairs, an associate dean, and a diversity officer.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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