October 10, 2003
Dean Melsa to retire
by Annette Hacker
James Melsa, dean of the College of Engineering, will retire at the end of
the 2003-04 academic year.
Melsa has served as dean since 1995. His leadership has spanned a period of
record enrollment in the college and the launch of an initiative to become
one of the nation's top 20 engineering programs.
Melsa also led the successful completion of the $62.5 million Engineering
Teaching and Research Complex, which includes Howe Hall (built in 1999) and
Hoover Hall, dedicated last week.
Under Melsa's direction, the College of Engineering recently received a $282
million in-kind software grant, the largest in Iowa State history. Research
expenditures have increased significantly, new endowed professorships have
been established, one of the world's only six-sided virtual reality labs was
developed, and the college has become a leader in information assurance
during Melsa's tenure.
"I believe that the College of Engineering has become stronger and more
visible during the past eight-plus years of my administration. I appreciate
the support of the faculty and staff; I am proud of what we've
accomplished," Melsa said.
Melsa, 65, also is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at
Iowa State. He will retire from his faculty duties as well.
"Jim Melsa has provided extraordinary leadership for Iowa State University's
College of Engineering. In the eight years he has been dean, the college
experienced significant enrollment increases and set new records in research
and fund raising," said President Gregory Geoffroy. "He oversaw the
addition of the two-phase Engineering Teaching and Research Complex, the
largest building project in Iowa State's history and a facility that will
provide a solid foundation for the college to continue its progress in the
future. I thank Jim for his many contributions to Iowa State, and I wish
him the best in his retirement."
Ben Allen, vice president for academic affairs and provost, said he will
meet with College of Engineering administrators to start the process of
forming a search committee for the new dean. The search is expected to be
completed by July 1, 2004.
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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