Dr. Andrew Blanchard Named Dean of Undergraduate Education
May 15, 2013
Dr. Andrew Blanchard
Veteran UT Dallas professor and administrator Dr. Andrew Blanchard has been named the University’s next dean of Undergraduate Education.
Blanchard, who joined the UT Dallas faculty in 2001, has served in a succession of key University positions. He currently serves as vice president for Information Resources, following five years of service as vice provost. Dr. Sheila Amin Gutiérrez de Piñeres, who has served as dean of Undergraduate Education since 2010, is departing UT Dallas for a new position as vice president for Academic Affairs at Austin College. Dr. Blanchard’s appointment will be effective June 1.
“The continuing expansion and enhancement of great undergraduate education at UT Dallas is critical to the success of our strategic plan and the University’s future,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal in announcing the appointment.
Blanchard began his tenure at UT Dallas as a professor of electrical engineering and senior associate dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. As part of his new role, he will also hold the Mary McDermott Cook Distinguished Chair of Undergraduate Education and Research.
“Andy Blanchard has the advantage assuming responsibility for an impressive complex of successful and innovative programs established by his predecessors, Deans Sheila Piñeres and Michael Coleman. Indices of these successes include increased enrollment of superlative freshmen students and our continued improvement of retention and graduation rates,” Wildenthal said. “These successes, however, merely raise the bar for further advances, as UT Dallas steadily moves to the first rank of national, selective, public universities.”
Blanchard’s extensive institutional experiences in the central UT Dallas administration, working with the complete range of UT Dallas schools, faculty, and with accrediting agencies, state bureaucracies, and the UT System administration will be of particular value in his new role, the provost said.
“Going forward, continuing progress in great undergraduate education requires the cooperation and coordination of the entire UT Dallas community, along with constructive collaboration with external agencies,” Wildenthal said. “Andy’s experiences in these areas make him the optimum choice to lead us in this ever more important University challenge.”
UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel said Blanchard will play a key role in continuing to lead UT Dallas toward improving undergraduate education.
“Dr. Blanchard’s commitment to improving undergraduate education is underscored by his desire to move from his very successful leadership of the division of Information Resources as vice president to the position of dean,” Daniel said. “Given his successes over the last year, and the excellent state in which Dean Piñeres will be leaving the Office of Undergraduate Education, Provost Wildenthal and I have asked Dr. Blanchard to continue his leadership of Information Resources for the time being, along with assuming the leadership for the Office of Undergraduate Education.”
Since becoming a vice provost in 2008, Blanchard has provided guidance to the academic programs in curricular and faculty development. He also has worked closely with the Office of Research to promote the University’s expanding research agenda.
“The pressure for improved performance in all dimensions of undergraduate education is being generated both internally and externally,” Blanchard said. "We must continue as a community of faculty, staff, and students to maintain the responsibility and authority for providing the deeper essentials of a great education.”
Blanchard said he is looking forward to continuing the successes of Undergraduate Education and providing a fulfilling and challenging environment for UT Dallas students.
“There are no rewards greater than seeing our students succeed,” Blanchard said. “I am enthusiastic about leading the great programs and staffs created by Sheila Piñeres and Mike Coleman, and I look forward to the new challenges that I will encounter in the position of dean.”
Before joining UT Dallas, Dr. Blanchard held positions of major responsibility at the Houston Advanced Research Center and in the University of Missouri’s School of Engineering.
He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. Blanchard is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and an elected member of the Electromagnetics Academy. He is a member of the President’s Council of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, from which he received its Outstanding Service Award in 1996.
Prior to that, Blanchard received the Eta Kappa Nu MacDonald Award as the “Outstanding Electrical Engineering Professor in the United States of America.”
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