Dean Selected for School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences
Nov. 9, 2012
Dr. Denis Dean
Denis Dean, professor and head of the Geography and Geospatial Information Sciences Program at UT Dallas, has been named dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.
Dr. Dean is an expert in geospatial analysis, which can be applied to real world applications including urban planning, population studies and computer mapping programs.
He began his new role as dean of EPPS on Nov. 1.
“I’m excited about this opportunity, and I am looking forward to supporting each program within the school, and building up and expanding interdisciplinary endeavors among EPPS faculty,” Dr. Dean said. “I hope to broaden our EPPS collaborations among faculty throughout the University as well.”
Dr. Dean joined UT Dallas in 2008 and served as professor and head of the Geography and Geospatial Information Sciences Programs, where he was responsible for administering the program budget, student retention, and faculty teaching assignments. Under his tenure, the program’s enrollment has grown by 15 percent.
Prior to coming to UT Dallas, Dr. Dean taught at Colorado State University for 15 years, where he helped launch the Remote Sensing and Geospatial Information Systems Program.
“We began the program back before any school in the United States offered degrees in that field,” he said. “At its height, we enrolled about 80 graduate students and 80 undergraduate students.”
Dr. Dean also designed and taught courses that exposed undergraduate forestry students to basic concepts of remote sensing, GPS and spatial statistics.
His current research interests include spatial optimization, the use of artificial intelligence and other computing approaches to address geospatial problems, developing new spatial data analysis techniques, and assessing the accuracy of existing techniques.
Dr. Dean graduated from Virginia Tech University in 1984 with a degree in forest recreation management. He completed his master’s degree in forestry economics at the Pennsylvania State University and his PhD at Virginia Tech.
He has taught more than 30 workshops, both nationally and abroad, on various geospatial science topics.
“All of our programs in EPPS are excellent and can compete with any program in the country,” Dr. Dean said. “I want to continue to grow our faculty and provide them with the assurance they need to explore new research and teaching challenges.”
Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, UT Dallas executive vice president and provost, appointed a committee earlier this fall to provide recommendations for internal candidates to fill the dean’s position. Dr. Dean’s predecessor, Dr. James Marquart, now serves as vice provost and helps guide the review and evaluation of academic personnel and programs.
“I am very grateful to Professor Murray Leaf and his colleagues who worked with the faculty of EPPS to identify and review candidates for the dean’s position, ” Wildenthal said. “In identifying Denis Dean as a highly recommended candidate, they brought forward to President Daniel and me a new leader whose research prowess, enthusiasm for teaching and ability to work collaboratively with his peers will be major assets to the school and the University as we move toward national prominence as a tier one research institution.”
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