Technology dean will return to teaching

Jeremy Hebebrand

Chowdhury says change will give more time for research, building global connections

A. Raj Chowdhury, who announced his resignation as dean of the College of Technology last week, will return to the college as a full-time professor in 2009, after a year of paid academic leave.

Chowdhury said stepping down will create more free time and energy that can be focused on research and international connections.

“The college has come a long way, but I think its time for a new person to lead the college in a different direction,” he said.

His decision, he said, was based on personal needs and his determination to bring Kent State onto the global scene. Chowdhury said he is looking forward to coming back as a professor and believes that he will be more effective in improving the college as a faculty member and a researcher.

Being a dean involved a lot of work, and Chowdhury said he often felt “bogged down.” Resigning will help him bring the college to the “full front.”

“I have a lot to contribute down the road,” Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury recently returned from Washington, D.C., with a $4.5 million grant from Battelle, an international technology firm Kent State already has a relationship with. It is a collaborative effort that will help College of Technology students provide manufacturing, planning and sourcing for Battelle.

John Marino, associate professor of technology at the Trumbull Campus, said though, as dean Chowdhury had to cover all eight Kent State campuses, the College of Technology continues to be one of the best in the country.

“The dean has done a wonderful job in moving the school forward,” he said.

Chowdhury has served as the dean of the college for 11 years.

“Was it a difficult decision? Yes, but I want to exit as a dean feeling good about it,” Chowdhury said.

Provost Robert Frank said the conditions of Chowdhury’s resignation are normal.

“The dean is taking a leave which is common after stepping down from an administrative position,” Frank said. “It is hard work. It wears you out.”

During Chowdhury’s leave, an interim dean will be selected from the current Kent State faculty. Chowdhury’s resignation will be effective June 30, and the interim dean will take the position July 1 and serve until a permanent dean is found. Finding a new dean takes a national search and time, ranging from eight months to a year, Frank said.

Chowdhury said he is excited about the future of the College of Technology and plans to make the college “very very prominent.”

“I am not going to try . I am going to do it,” he said.

Contact sciences reporter Jeremy Hebebrand at [email protected].