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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 17, 2009

Three dean searches conclude on same day

by Annette Hacker, News Service

On April 7, president Gregory Geoffroy announced the successful candidates who will fill the dean posts in the colleges of Design, Engineering and Human Sciences.

Luis Rico-Gutierrez, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and David Lewis Director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, will become dean of the College of Design July 1. He succeeds Mark Engelbrecht, who will step down June 30 after 15 years as dean.

Jonathan Wickert, chair of the mechanical engineering department and Larry and Pam Pithan Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will become dean of the College of Engineering July 1. He succeeds Mark Kushner, who joined the faculty at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in September. James Bernard, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering, is serving as interim dean.

Pamela White, University Professor of food science and human nutrition and interim dean of the College of Human Sciences, became permanent dean on April 16. She succeeds Cheryl Achterberg, who left Iowa State last June for a dean position at The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Following is a short background on each of the three deans.

Luis Rico-Gutierrez

Luis Rico-Gutierrez

Rico-Gutierrez has been associate dean of CMU's College of Fine Arts since 2001. From 2001 to 2006, he also was chair of the steering committee for the Studio for Creative Inquiry, a multidisciplinary arts research center within the college. From 2001 to 2004, Rico-Gutierrez served as associate head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon, where he has been on the faculty since 1996.

Rico-Gutierrez's research includes the use of information technology in the design process and grassroots participatory practice in urban design. He chairs the innovation and new directions task force of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. He is professionally accredited in Mexico and Spain.

Jonathan Wickert

Jonathan Wickert

Wickert came to Iowa State in 2007 as mechanical engineering chair. He has encouraged an environment of excellence in the department through the hiring and professional development of faculty and staff, strategic research programs, student recruiting and diversity initiatives, accessibility to new educational opportunities, and communicating with stakeholders.

Wickert is author of the textbook An Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, which has been translated into Korean, Chinese and Portuguese. He holds two U.S. patents. Wickert served as an associate editor of the Journal of Vibration and Acoustics and the Journal of Information Storage Systems. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

From 1990 to 2007, Wickert was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Pamela White

Pamela White

White was named interim dean of the College of Human Sciences on July 1, 2008. She served as interim dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences (2003 to 2005), before it combined with the College of Education to become the College of Human Sciences in July 2005. She continued as interim dean of the new college for two months.

Her research focuses on the oxidization of edible oils and their sensory and chemical changes, uses of antioxidants in oils, and the structure and function of soluble fiber -- all aimed at creating new and improved foods.

White is a former president of the American Oil Chemists' Society. She served as associate editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society for 14 years, and currently serves on the journal's editorial board. She was named a fellow of the American Oil Chemists' Society in 2004.


"I believe we have added three outstanding scholars and leaders to Iowa State's senior leadership team. Each is well positioned to provide vision and leadership as we develop and implement a new strategic plan for Iowa State."

Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman