On Monday, Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels announced the appointment of T.E. (Ed) Schlesinger as the next Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering. Schlesinger was approved by the Board of Trustees and will assume leadership of the Whiting School on Jan. 1.
Schlesinger currently serves as the Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. He has served in this position since 2005.
“Ed is a distinguished academic leader with an outstanding record as a scholar, teacher, innovator and manager. Those of us who have spent time with him have been deeply impressed by his intellect, vision, collegiality and collaborative spirit,” Daniels wrote in an email to the Hopkins community.
The position of the Whiting School’s Dean has been vacant since Nicholas P. Jones departed from Hopkins on June 30 to assume the position of executive vice president and provost of Penn State University. Andrew Douglas, Whiting’s vice dean for faculty, has held the position on an interim basis, and will continue to do so until Schlesinger arrives on Jan. 1.
The description of the position listed on the University’s website underscored the importance for candidates to possess significant research qualifications.
“The next Dean will be an experienced and dynamic individual who has shown significant leadership in engineering research and scholarship. S/he will have demonstrated the vision and ability to provide the resources necessary to grow the school’s innovative research initiatives and the generation of new technologies and to provide an outstanding education that prepares students to solve important technology-based societal problems,” the website said.
The description also highlighted the priorities the incoming dean will be tasked with executing.
“The next dean will find ways to continue to attract and retain top faculty and enroll the most exceptionally qualified, driven and intellectually curious students,” the website said. “The dean will also be responsible the school’s continued growth in research and philanthropic funding and will be expected to expand research, educational and entrepreneurial initiatives and collaborations.”
Daniels expressed his confidence that Schlesinger will be able to accomplish these objectives.
“Ed Schlesinger’s record as a researcher, educator and administrator reflect a tireless commitment to excellence and a genuine passion for engineering and higher education. I have been struck by his thoughtfulness, drive and infectious enthusiasm,” Daniels wrote. “His leadership, skills and vision — to hone a distinctive identity for Johns Hopkins Engineering and to inspire a systems approach to greater collaboration across our schools — will make him a superb dean of the Whiting School.”
A search committee, led by former Interim Provost Jonathan Bagger and with the assistance of Ilene Nagel, a consultant with Russell Reynolds Associates, was formed in tandem with Jones’s departure and was tasked with narrowing the field of candidates and presenting its recommendations to Daniels. The committee included representation from across the university, ranging from members of Daniels’s cabinet, administrators and deans, to professors, Ph.D. candidates and students.
“I want to thank the search committee members, led by former Interim Provost Jonathan Bagger, whose untiring and dedicated work led to a superb result,” Daniels wrote. “Deep thanks also to Andrew Douglas, an outstanding leader and citizen of the Whiting School, who will remain interim dean until Dr. Schlesinger arrives.”
Daniels also praised Schlesinger for his work at Carnegie Mellon, highlighting his many achievements in its Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
“At Carnegie Mellon, he has worked with faculty members to construct a new strategic vision. He has generated significant growth in an internationally renowned ECE department, which has an annual budget of more than $50 million and comprises 100 faculty members and a staff of 85,” Daniels wrote.
Daniels accredited Schlesinger with several feats at Carnegie Mellon, including the redesign of its undergraduate program aimed to offer augmented flexibility and decreased barriers between electrical and computer engineering, doubling the number of graduate courses offered and quintupling the Master of Science degree program, the encouragement of diversity, a renewed focus on globalization and the expansion of the department’s combined research efforts with leaders in the industrial sector.Schlesinger received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in 1980. He received his doctorate in applied physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1985.
"Johns Hopkins and the Whiting School are without doubt among the finest institutions in the world, and I view this opportunity as a privilege of both leadership and stewardship,” Schlesinger told The Hub. “I see my role as enabling Johns Hopkins students and faculty to achieve their goals while sharing a common vision for what it means to be a Hopkins engineer in the 21st century."
Schlesinger also expressed his desire to join the Hopkins community and to work towards improving the Whiting School’s collaborative efforts, while, simultaneously, honoring such efforts and their contributions to society.
“I am excited to work with faculty, students, staff and alumni to ensure that the Whiting School continues to enhance the impact of all its programs, to foster collaboration and to eliminate boundaries or barriers wherever possible," Schlesinger told The Hub. "I also want to ensure that those members of the Whiting School community are recognized for their important contributions to the well-being and improvement of society, locally, nationally and globally."