Gerald Navratil Named Interim Dean of SEAS

April 20, 2007

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am pleased to announce that Gerald A. Navratil, the Thomas Alva Edison Professor of Applied Physics, will serve as interim dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science for the 2007-08 academic year.

Jerry assumes this new post with strong support from the engineering faculty. Having earned international acclaim for his scholarship applying plasma physics to the development of thermonuclear fusion energy, he currently directs research on fusion energy science funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Jerry joined the Columbia faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. One year later, he helped establish what is now the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, where he served as department chair more than 10 years from 1988 to 1994 and from 1997 to 2000. He served as acting vice dean in 1995. Jerry earned his bachelor's degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin. In 1989, he was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Provost Alan Brinkley and I will immediately begin organizing the search committee so that process can begin promptly in September, with the goal of announcing a new permanent dean for SEAS during the spring 2008 semester.

Let me again offer the thanks of the whole University to Dean Zvi Galil. SEAS has gained extraordinary momentum under Zvi's leadership. As we look toward the future, we know that he will have great success as president of Tel Aviv University and that the school he has led so energetically for the past dozen years will be in good hands under the stewardship of Interim Dean Navratil.


Lee C. Bollinger