Speed School dean to step down June 30
Mickey Wilhelm, dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering for six years, has announced that he will step down from that post effective June 30, 2011.
A faculty member at the Speed School since 1975, he previously had been chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and also served as associate dean of the school.
"It has been my honor and privilege to serve as dean of Speed School," Wilhelm said. "I appreciate the strong support of the UofL administration, my faculty and staff colleagues, students, alumni, donors and advisers throughout my tenure. Together, I think we have done some remarkable things, even though the economy has presented substantial challenges. I look forward to a bright future for Speed School under a new, vibrant leader."
Since Wilhelm has been dean, the Speed School has:
- Seen an increase in the composite ACT scores of entering freshmen.
- Awarded more than 1,000 baccalaureate, 1,025 masters and 200 doctoral degrees.
- Seen a 200 percent increase in the number of PhD graduates.
- Developed strong relationships with the Health Sciences Center and established a Department of Bioengineering.
- Established the Department of Engineering Fundamentals to help with freshman and sophomore student retention and to coordinate K-12 outreach programs.
- Expanded its career services office.
- Seen an increase in externally funded research expenditures of 200 percent.
- Raised more than $33.5 million in gifts, bequests and pledges.
- Opened the nationally ranked research facilities in the Shumaker Research Building. Speed School shares the facilities with the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Secured private funds to renovate an old library building into the Duthie Center for Engineering, which houses offices, classrooms and study space and other amenities.
- Renovated substantial office and lab space in Ernst Hall to house the new Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research.
- Successfully recruited faculty and staff, even in the face of annual state budget cuts.
- Seen the percentage of female faculty go above the average of UofL's 16 benchmark universities.
"Mickey has done an amazing job," said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. "He has moved the school forward, strengthened our relationships with the engineering community and our donors, built some great space for our researchers and students, and for me personally, been a great friend. I understand his decision, but if I had my way, he'd stay dean for a much longer time."
Wilhelm will continue to work with UofL's central administration in a consulting capacity for the 2011-12 fiscal year, she said.
"We really need Mickey's skills right now," Willihnganz continued.
After that, he will take a sabbatical and return to the faculty.
The provost will work with Speed School faculty and staff to begin the search process to have a new dean in place by the end of June 2011.