Provost names new interim dean for the College of Technology

Jeremy Hebebrand

Provost Robert Frank named Verna Fitzsimmons, associate professor of technology, as the new interim dean of the College of Technology.

Fitzsimmons will take over Raj Chowdhury’s position as dean July 1. Chowdhury has decided to step down as dean and return to the college as a faculty member.

“My job is to bring the college along in this time period until a new permanent dean is hired,” Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons has been at the university for four-and-a-half years and believes her knowledge of responsibility-centered management will help her when she takes the role of interim dean.

RCM is a method used to reduce maintenance costs and reduce work requirements while ensuring a system’s reliability by using cost data and logistics.

“She knows that money not only talks, but that it knows how to sing and dance,” said Michael Dragomier, assistant professor of technology.

Fitzsimmons holds a doctorate in industrial engineering and attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

The College of Technology has three main areas: aeronautics, applied business technology and applied science technology, Fitzsimmons said.

“As an industrial engineer I have been trained in the systems approach so I think that’s something that I can really bring to the table,” she said.

Fitzsimmons said she predicts the process of finding a new dean will probably take one academic year. She hopes she can continue to teach at least one course while serving as interim dean.

“I have a passion for teaching students,” Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons said the College of Technology as well as the university has a lot on its plate as far as the implementation of RCM and the tightening economic situation.

“There are many external factors that we have to deal with and figure out how to come out on top of this and I am looking forward to it,” she said.

Contact sciences reporter Jeremy Hebebrand at [email protected].