Lay Nam Chang, dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Science for the past three years, has been reappointed dean of the college. Chang was one of three finalists for the position. The other two candidates were from universities out of state.

“Lay Nam’s vision for the college, his success in establishing a strong foundation for the college, his extraordinary success in fundraising and development, his ability to forge collaborative partnerships with other colleges and programs, and his deep commitment to quality, diversity, innovation, and progress contribute to my decision to recommend his appointment,” said Provost Mark McNamee.

McNamee’s announcement follows several months of effort by an internal search committee, composed of faculty and staff, that helped guide the review and selection process.

“The College of Science is poised to take on the role the university anticipated as the key to bringing Virginia Tech to top-tier status,” Chang said. “I am honored to be chosen to lead the college in realizing this vision and reaching the pre-eminence we all expect it to achieve.”

Chang was named on a three-year appointment dean of the newly formed College of Science in March 2003. Before that, he was interim dean of the former College of Arts and Sciences since 2002 and physics department head for seven years. He joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1978 after working on the physics faculty at the University of Pennsylvania for seven years. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics at the University of California at Berkeley. Chang has conducted research at MIT and the University of Chicago and has been a visiting scientist or visiting instructor at institutions of higher education in Denmark, British Columbia, Singapore, and the United States.

In his short time as dean of the College of Science, Chang has implemented a unique cluster hiring process for new faculty, has played a leading role in helping the college reach over 100 percent of its pre-campaign fundraising goal, has implemented a unique joint intellectual property law program with the University of Richmond, has established partnerships with the Georgetown Medical Research Centers, and has established the Institute for Advanced Study, which was a driving force in making Virginia Tech a leading contender in the national competition for the selection of a site on which to established an National Science Foundation-funded Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab.

“The college has momentum,” McNamee said. “And we can sustain the momentum. I look forward to working with Lay Nam and his outstanding leadership team to advance to goals of faculty, staff and students within the College of Science.”

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the University’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and that in Intellectual Properties law.

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