Djalali named dean of UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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Chaden Djalali (pronounced Ja-lá-li), professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of South Carolina (USC), has been named dean of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), effective Aug. 15.
Djalali, 56, joined the physics faculty of USC in 1989 and has served as the chair of the department since 2004. In 2007 he was appointed to a Carolina Distinguished Professorship in recognition of his outstanding research and teaching.
He maintains an active research program in intermediate energy nuclear physics and hadronic physics and has taught at all university levels and contributed significantly to undergraduate and graduate curriculum development. He has acquired substantial administrative experience, not only as chair of the department but also through extensive involvement with university-wide governance. He has received USC’s top university-wide awards for research, service, and teaching.
“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa. I am ready to ‘roll up my sleeves’ and look forward to working closely with students, staff, faculty, and administrators to further the research, educational, and service missions of the college and the university,” Djalali says.
He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Paris XI and doctorate from Institut de Physique Nucléaire (IPN-Orsay) in Paris.
“Professor Djalali is a highly accomplished researcher, teacher, and administrator with an impressive record in all three arenas,” says UI Executive Vice President and Provost P. Barry Butler, who made the appointment, subject to approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. “He has strong academic values and a clear vision for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also brings to the position a valuable international perspective, a strong commitment to shared governance, and a dedication to building on the college’s interdisciplinary strengths. I’m confident he will be an excellent leader and champion for the college.”
He will replace Linda Maxson, who has served as dean of CLAS for 15 years and will rejoin the UI biology faculty upon stepping down.
“In addition to being the university’s largest college, responsible for most of the undergraduate education and a vast research mission, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is near and dear to my heart,” Maxson says. “I wish Dr. Djalali the greatest success as he leads the college forward in the coming years.”
Djalali was one of three finalists interviewed on the UI campus in March and April by a search committee chaired by David Johnsen, dean of the College of Dentistry.
“A priority of the search committee was to find a dean who could engage and effectively advocate for the spectrum of disciplines and cultures across our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” Johnsen says. “Professor Djalali has a record of that kind of engagement, and will be a strong advocate for the college and the university.”
“I am delighted that Professor Djalali will be our new dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” says UI President Sally Mason. “His deep and well-respected teaching, research, and administrative experience, combined with his strong understanding of the scope of the liberal arts and sciences, will continue the forward momentum of the UI’s largest college while also bringing new perspectives to our campus.”
Djalali says he was drawn to the CLAS position because of the college’s many top-ranked, internationally known departments and programs.
“The breadth and the academic and intellectual vibrancy of these diverse programs create the ideal environment to facilitate the life-long learning process which is the hallmark of a liberal arts education,” he says.
Djalali served in tenured research positions at IPN-Orsay and worked for two years in the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University in East Lansing before joining the Nuclear Physics group at USC.
“My wife Marta, my two daughters, Alma and Maya, and I are tremendously excited to join UI and the Iowa City community,” Djalali says.
His salary will be $325,000.