James Jackson Announced as New Associate Dean for Research and Outreach

March 21, 2011

Scott Whitaker has decided to step away from the position of CAS Associate Dean for Research and Outreach. He has served his colleagues in CAS and across Boston University in the capacity of Associate Dean of the Graduate School for a very long time, with great skill and dedication and to great effect. He is looking forward to continuing to expand his efforts in what is for him a relatively new field of research and to his teaching. I am immensely grateful for the partnership we have had since I came to BU, for his contributions, and for the valuable support he has been for me in our work together. This will not, of course, be the last time I will thank him publicly for all of this.
I began the daunting task of finding a successor this past fall when I circulated a call for nominations and self-nominations. I have held many conversations with many people to encourage as wide and deep a pool of candidates as possible. I had a conversation with every candidate. Earlier this spring I convened an interdisciplinary committee of faculty from across CAS with representation as well from OSP and from another BU college to review the credentials of the candidates, interview each one, and make a recommendation to me about whom I should invite. I then also solicited views of these candidates from other faculty and administrators in CAS and beyond. I am very pleased to know how much “bench strength” we have in leadership in the College of Arts & Sciences – this makes for a difficult choice.  I strongly believe that part of the strength of a great university is the breadth and depth of leadership within its faculty.
I am very pleased to announce that as a conclusion to this process, Professor James Jackson of the Department of Astronomy has agreed to serve as CAS Associate Dean for Research and Outreach. Jim is currently serving as Chair of his department. He earned his B.S. magna cum laude in Astronomy at Penn State and his Ph.D. in Physics at MIT in 1986.  He has been on the faculty at Boston University since 1991. Jim studies star formation, galactic structure, and the interstellar medium in both the Milky Way and other galaxies using radio, submm, mm, and infrared astronomy. He is PI of the Boston University-Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory Galactic Ring Survey
(GRS <>).

He has been an active participant in the Core Curriculum, and has strong interdisciplinary interests, as you will see below.
Please join me in welcoming Jim Jackson, who will take on his new role this summer.

-Virginia Sapiro, Dean of Arts & Sciences

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