UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering University of California San Diego
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Jacobs School Announces Leadership Transitions

Frieder Seible takes helm as Acting Dean in July.

ROBERT W. CONN ANNOUNCED IN FEBRUARY that he will step down as Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. Executive Associate Dean Frieder Seible will serve as Acting Dean beginning July 1. Conn has led the Jacobs School since January 1994.

“Under Dean Conn's remarkable leadership, the Jacobs School has risen to the ranks of the top public engineering schools in the nation,” said Chancellor Robert Dynes. “As a campus we are indebted to the dedication and contributions of this exceptionally distinguished educational leader.”

During his eight-year term, Conn strategically led the Jacobs School through an unprecedented period of growth marked by a 60 percent increase in faculty, 70 percent increase in graduate students, and a 50 percent growth in undergraduates. Under his watch, the Jacob School's annual research funding has grown from $33 million to $112 million, and the School now ranks second in the nation in the average research funding per faculty member. Similarly, the average annual private support for the Jacobs School has doubled, with over $145 million raised during his tenure. A hallmark of his accomplishments is building partnerships with industry. He established the Corporate Affiliates Program at the School, which now includes more than 50 members.

Conn now joins the partnership of La Jolla-based Enterprise Partners, one of the top-performing venture capital firms in the United States.

Frieder Seible has been the Executive Associate Dean for the Jacobs School since January, and served as founding chair of the nation’s first Department of Structural Engineering from 1994 to 2001. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Seible is also founder and director of the Powell Structural Research Laboratories, the world’s largest and most active facilities for full-scale structural testing. His achievements include seismic assessment and retrofit of bridges and the application of polymer matrix composites in civil engineering structures. He designed many of the new bridge components slated to be used in the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span, and designed the Kings Stormwater Channel Bridge, the world’s first composite bridge built for heavy traffic.

UCSD has launched a national search for the next Dean of the Jacobs School. The search committee is chaired by Electrical Engineering Professor Larry Milstein and includes senior faculty and institute directors.

Ross Named Assistant Dean
Steve Ross has been appointed Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration. Ross served as the Director of Planning and Budget for the School for the past three years and worked closely with Paul Croft, Assistant Dean since 1994. Ross has been instrumental in guiding and managing the fiscal development of Cal-(IT)2. With an extensive knowledge of campus and UC system-wide affairs, Ross was previously the manager of academic compensation in Academic Personnel, business manager in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and accounting assistant in UCSD's accounting office. Croft officially retired in 1998, but continues to be involved with the School and will now coordinate the I-5/Gilman Bridge project.

Associate Dean Sebald Returns to Regular Faculty
Tony Sebald, who has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs since 1998, will return to regular faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering on July 1. During his tenure, Sebald led the School-wide effort related to ABET 2000, strengthened the School’s Engineering Student Services program, and helped institute admissions controls which are allowing the School to improve the faculty/student ratio at the undergraduate level. Sebald has been a champion of student involvement in engineering throughout their four years and has helped put in place several new undergraduate education programs. The School plans to appoint a new Associate Dean this summer.