Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to faculty and staff on April 9, 2018
Dear SJSU Community,
Following a comprehensive national search, I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Kaufman has accepted the position of dean of the College of Science, effective April 16.
Michael has provided enthusiastic interim leadership to the college since July 1, 2017. During his brief tenure, he expanded support for research-active faculty by increasing assigned time; collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to move forward progress on the Interdisciplinary Science Building; worked to highlight the many ways that faculty and staff contribute to student success; and facilitated the Deans’ Leadership Academy, a year-long program focused on developing future university leaders. He has proven himself to be a skilled leader who will remain focused on supporting student success as he continues to grow the thriving research enterprise in the College of Science through collaboration with the Research Foundation, Tower Foundation and external partners.
In addition to his time as interim dean, Michael has more than 20 years of experience at SJSU and has served in multiple leadership roles, including a term as Academic Senate chair and six years as chair for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. As department chair, he coordinated the hiring of eight tenure-track faculty members, worked collaboratively on redesigning of introductory physics courses to increase student success, and garnered internal and external funds to facilitate space upgrades.
Michael joined SJSU as a lecturer in 1997 while completing a post-doctoral fellowship at NASA Ames Research Center and became a tenure-track faculty member in 1998. Through the years, he has been actively involved in supporting student research opportunities and has received more than $3 million in external funding to pursue the study of young stars and their natal environments, achieving the distinction of President’s Scholar in 2012.
He received his bachelor’s in physics from Middlebury College before attending Johns Hopkins University, where he completed a master’s in physics and a doctorate in astrophysics. Michael also completed the Management Development Program in Higher Education Leadership at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2016.
I am confident that students, faculty, staff, alumni and other university stakeholders will be as enthusiastic as I am to have Michael at the helm of the College of Science and will find him to be a dedicated leader.