Feb 242004
Authors: Taylour Nelson

Neal Gallagher announced Tuesday his plans to resign as dean of

the College of Engineering at CSU to accept a position as dean of

the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University

of Central Florida.

“We are sad to see Dr. Gallagher leave, he has contributed a

great deal to the university,” said Peter Nicholls,

provost/academic vice president. “We need to recognize his

opportunity to build a really good program at the University of

Central Florida, but he will be greatly missed.”

In the five years Gallagher served as dean, the College of

Engineering has seen a 12 percent increase in student enrollment

and a 30 percent increase in total sponsored research funding.

Since 1999, the college has received many national grants

prompting new research programs for the college of engineering.

These include a $3.8 million grant from the Environmental

Protection Agency to research mine waste and hazardous substances,

a $1.8 million grant from Congress to support the nation’s security

efforts and a $1.7 million award to improve transportation in the

nation’s natural gas pipeline system.

“The biggest challenge (for the new dean) will be to continue to

find new ways to raise funds,” Gallagher said in an e-mail


Terry Hickey, provost and vice president for academic affairs at

the University of Central Florida, said the selection committee was

looking for a specific type of person to fill the position.

“Because (engineering) is an aggressive environment, we wanted

someone who was strong willed, with good academic credentials and

good leadership skills,” Hickey said. “Neal fits (those) needs

quite nicely.”

The college Gallagher will be moving to is headed toward

greatness, he said. “My strength has been in my ability to identify

programs that are on the verge of great improvements. I then try to

facilitate that process. The University of Central Florida and

their College of Engineering and Computer Science seems to be on

the verge of greatness,” he said. “I had not been searching for

another position. A long time friend who was on their search

committee invited me to apply.”

Hickey said he was unsure of the date Gallagher would start his

term as dean, but estimated sometime this summer.

To appoint a new permanent dean to the engineering college,

Nicholls said CSU would conduct a nationwide search beginning this

summer, but would not be able to appoint a new dean for the

upcoming fall semester because the process would take too long.

“The most important tasks for the next dean will be to maintain

standards on hiring and promotion. Then just let great people be

great, and surprise great things will happen.”

He said the fiscal year starts in July and by the time the

committee went through the proper process of finding candidates, it

would be impossible to appoint a new dean in four months.

For the time being, Nichols plans to appoint an interim dean for

the engineering college. There are no present candidates or

confirmed decision as to who will take the position.

“Our students are very talented and hardworking. We must

challenge every student to achieve well beyond their own

expectations for themselves,” Gallagher said. “My experience here

at CSU has been extremely rewarding. All of the people are first

rate. Fort Collins is the best place I have ever lived.”

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