Spina named interim vice chancellor, provost at Syracuse University
Spina named interim vice chancellor, provost at Syracuse UniversityMay 19, 2006Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Eric F. Spina, the Douglas D. Danforth Dean of Syracuse University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, today was named the University’s interim vice chancellor and provost.
He will succeed Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund, who is leaving the University in July to pursue new professional opportunities, and will serve as the University’s chief academic officer. In accordance with standard University procedures, a national search for the position will be undertaken sometime next year, in consultation with the University Senate.
“Syracuse University has made great strides in advancing the quality of our academic and research programs, and I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students to continue to strengthen this central element of the University,” Spina says. “I am very enthusiastic about the direction that Chancellor Cantor is providing for the University and am pleased to do whatever I can to support her vision and build upon the tremendous momentum that we have developed as an institution.”
Spina, a member of the University community since 1988, has been the dean of ECS since December 2003, and was the college’s associate dean from 2000-03. In 2004, he was the first academic dean at the University named to the Chancellor’s Cabinet of Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor.
As dean of ECS, Spina has focused on the development and implementation of a vision that draws on the strong research traditions of the college and the tremendous breadth of the University to prepare graduates who will be innovators in a complex world. He also worked to dramatically advance the college’s development and alumni relations activities and to continue the rapid growth of sponsored research activity in ECS.
“On the basis of Eric’s outstanding leadership as dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the many innovative synergies he forged there and with other units, I am confident he will be a very strong advocate for the University’s academic mission,” says Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “People from across campus and in the community know and respect Eric, and I am confident that he will play an important role as a key leader and collaborator in areas of great academic significance in the coming year, such as University fiscal affairs, space and facilities, and sponsored research.”
Spina has been deeply involved in service, research and administrative activities focused on the improvement of engineering education. He has served in a wide range of leadership positions within his department and ECS, and has been principal investigator (PI) or co-PI of several grants that have focused on engineering education and projects that have created innovative education partnerships with industry.
With more than 20 years of research experience in experimental fluid mechanics, Spina is well known among his colleagues in the field of mechanical and aerospace engineering. His most influential work has been on the physics of high-speed turbulent boundary layers, which culminated in an important paper in the Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics. He holds two U.S. patents, has published more than 30 refereed archival and conference papers, and has edited one book and one conference proceeding.
Spina also played a key role in the development and implementation of Syracuse University and New York State’s initiatives in indoor environmental quality and environmental quality systems, efforts that are the foundation for federal and state research and technology transfer funding of tens of millions of dollars. He served as deputy director of the Environmental Quality Systems Center (a New York State Strategically Targeted Academic Research Center) at Syracuse University and is currently a board member of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.
Spina has been honored as a recipient of the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contributions to the University’s Academic Programs, one of the University’s highest honors, and the 40 under 40 Leadership Award by the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Greater Syracuse. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MoST). Additionally, Spina has received several department, college and University teaching awards.
A native of Buffalo, Spina received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his master’s degree and doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. He and his wife, Karen, reside in Fayetteville with their two daughters.