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
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.”