Interim deans for CLASS and Engineering

Dear Faculty and Academic Staff,

After careful consideration, I am honored to announce interim deans for the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr. Shengli Fu, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, will serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering after Dean Hanchen Huang’s departure on July 15.

Dr. James Meernik, Regents Professor of political science and interim chair of the Department of Technical Communication, will serve as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. While Dr. Meernik’s appointment will officially begin after the departure of Executive Dean Tamara Brown on July 31, he will assume leadership duties on July 16 to ensure a smooth transition.

These leaders will join University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics Dr. John Quintanilla, whose tenure as interim dean of the College of Science officially begins today, in helping our colleges chart their academic paths.

The national search is well underway for the College of Science. Finalists will be on campus next week, and I hope to have the permanent dean in place before the start of the fall semester. National searches will soon commence for the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Dr. Fu joined UNT in 2005 as a charter member of the Department of Electrical Engineering. He became department chair in 2015 after serving two years as interim. Under his leadership, the department has experienced rapid growth in enrollment, research, and faculty, including three NSF CAREER awards.

Dr. Meernik has held numerous leadership roles since joining UNT in 1991, including chair of the Department of Political Science from 2002–08, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and acting dean of the Toulouse Graduate School from 2010-2012. He currently directs UNT’s Castleberry Peace Institute and serves on the Policy Review, QEP, and Promotion and Tenure committees.

Please join me in congratulating our new interim deans and wishing them success as they steer their colleges through this important time of transition.

Michael A. McPherson, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs