University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan today named Thomas C. Katsouleas, Duke University’s Vinik Dean of Engineering and a renowned researcher, as executive vice president and provost. The appointment is effective Aug. 17.
For the past seven years, Katsouleas has led one of the fastest-rising engineering schools in the nation. At Duke, he reshaped the engineering education and research focus to address society’s challenges and prepare students to lead and innovate upon graduation.
He succeeds John D. Simon, who will become president of Lehigh University on July 1. Sullivan has asked Senior Vice Provost Milton Adams to serve as acting executive vice president and provost until Katsouleas’ arrival on Grounds.
As the University’s chief academic officer, Katsouleas will continue to advance the important initiatives of U.Va.’s five-year strategic plan, the Cornerstone Plan.
The executive vice president and provost is charged by the U.Va. Board of Visitors and president with overseeing the 11 schools of the University, the University Library, the art museum, three residential colleges, a number of University centers, public service activities and outreach, foreign study programs and the advancement of teaching, research and public service.
“Tom’s energy and passion for learning and innovation, and his demonstrated success as an administrator and scholar, make him the ideal candidate to oversee the academic enterprise of this great institution,” Sullivan said. “He brings a global perspective and keen understanding of the academy and higher education administration.
“Tom arrives at U.Va. during a momentous time as we approach our third century, one where he will help shape the intellectual future of the University with the hiring of the next generation of top faculty from across the globe,” she added.
Ian Baucom, Buckner W. Clay Dean of the U.Va. College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, chaired the search committee.
“After a highly competitive international search, we are excited that Tom will join the University community,” Baucom said. “He is a proven successful leader who will work with all academic units across Grounds to further faculty-student engagement, promote cross-Grounds collaboration and expand the growing global orientation of the University.“
Sullivan also thanked the search committee members for their excellent work. “I am grateful for the thoughtfulness and dedication they demonstrated throughout the process,” she said.
“I'm excited to be joining one of the premier ‘Research I’ universities in the nation,” Katsouleas said. “U.Va. is a special community that values as I do the close personal interaction between outstanding students and top scholars from a broad academic spectrum and making that kind of personalized education accessible at a public scale. This is a place with an extraordinary tradition and history, but a community that is firmly focused on its future.
“I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with President Sullivan, her team and the faculty, staff and students, as well as U.Va.’s extremely committed alumni and its board, to realize the shared ambition to be the model for the best in public higher education,” Katsouleas added.
Among Katsouleas’ major responsibilities will be:
- Overseeing issues associated with the recruiting, hiring, retention, and performance of faculty and for the University's promotion and tenure process;
- Maintaining current plans for academic programs, resource allocations and innovations in all programs;
- Serving as chief personnel officer for the academic faculty;
- Overseeing global academic activities, including foreign study, international exchange of scholars, and promotion of international study for students;
- Educating faculty members about their duties under the University of Virginia Honor System and supporting and providing assistance as required;
- Working cooperatively with the president, deans and senior vice president for advancement in securing philanthropic support for the University;
- Acting in place of the president as necessary.
Katsouleas will also become the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He will also have a courtesy appointment as professor of physics in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Prior to joining Duke, Katsouleas spent 14 years advancing through the ranks at the University of Southern California’s School of Engineering. Arriving at USC as an associate professor of electrical engineering-electrophysics, he later served in a variety of administrative positions while continuing to teach and conduct research. These positions were associate dean for student affairs, associate dean for research, president of the faculty and academic senate and interim vice-provost for information services.
Katsouleas joined USC from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was an assistant/associate research engineer and adjunct assistant/associate professor of physics.
A respected thought leader within higher education, Katsouleas has written more than 250 publications. Highlights of his awards include the Outstanding Teaching Award, UCLA Physics Department, 1990 and 1991; Fellow, American Physical Society; Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and the Plasma Science Achievement Award, IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Society, 2011.
Katsouleas earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D., both in physics, from the University of California at Los Angeles.