Dear Jacobs School Colleagues,
I am honored and humbled to begin my service as Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering, which is truly a world-class institution. Building on the momentum that each of you has worked so hard to generate, we have the opportunity to take the Jacobs School to the next level, in terms of research, education and positive impact on society.
I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to Juan C. Lasheras for his stellar work as Interim Dean. I can't thank him enough for all that he has done – and continues to do – to lead the Jacobs School forward during this period of transition. The Jacobs School hasn't missed a beat during this time, and I am so pleased to find the Jacobs School in full forward motion as I arrive. Many, many thanks as well to Jeanne Ferrante and Charles Tu, who have just completed more than nine years of outstanding service as Associate Deans of the Jacobs School. I am grateful to have such a great group of trusted advisors, and I plan to rely on them as I continue to learn how things get done here at the Jacobs School and on campus.
One of my top priorities for getting settled in is to attend faculty meetings and connect with staff and students from across the Jacobs School. This will be part of a listening tour that I started six weeks ago through a series of meetings with the department chairs. I believe that one of the most important qualities of an effective dean is a willingness and ability to listen to faculty, staff and students.
Before I put forward a detailed vision for the future of the Jacobs School, I have more work to do. Two issues that keep coming up from many different sources, however, are student enrollments and rankings. Both topics are covered in the current draft of the Jacobs School strategic plan, which is a valuable framework for how to build on the Jacobs School's strengths and address the complex challenges we are facing in the future. I am grateful to Juan for leading the effort to generate this strategic plan, and to everyone who contributed to it. I am eager to work with the entire Jacobs School community to refine the plan and create a roadmap for implementation.
One key to successful implementation of strategic change is a great leadership team. Shortly, I will name three current Jacobs School faculty members to new associate dean positions in the areas of students, research and faculty affairs.
And speaking of faculty, the upcoming recruiting cycle is well underway, and is shaping up to be an exciting one for all departments at the Jacobs School. I look forward to working with many of you as we strive to hire the very best faculty.
Finally, I'd like to say that I'm a big believer in honest and constructive two-way communication. I look forward to hearing from you, and working with you to make the Jacobs School the very best engineering school in the nation.
Albert P. Pisano, Professor and Dean
Jacobs School of Engineering
Distinguished Professor, MAE and ECE
Walter J. Zable Endowed Chair of Engineering
University of California, San Diego
Member, US National Academy of Engineering