Search committee named for next School of Engineering dean

The Engineering and Science Building

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver has appointed a committee to conduct a national search for the next dean of the School of Engineering. Larry Marnett, dean of the School of Medicine Basic Sciences, will chair the committee, which includes a fellow dean, faculty members from multiple disciplines, an alumnus who is a globally recognized cybersecurity leader and a current student.  

“Our School of Engineering has tremendously powerful capacity to advance research collaborations to drive discovery while also expanding academic opportunities that enrich the student experience,” Raver said. “I’ve charged the search committee with identifying a leader who can build upon the school’s accomplishments, dramatically advancing its reputation for groundbreaking discoveries that drive scalable solutions.”

Philippe Fauchet, the Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering (Vanderbilt University)

Philippe Fauchet, the Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering, will step down as dean, effective June 30, 2023, and will rejoin the school’s faculty in 2024 after a sabbatical. Under his leadership, the School of Engineering has grown in a number of areas, including the size of its faculty, the diversity of its undergraduate students and the spaces on campus where innovative problem-solving can take place. 

“One of Vanderbilt’s greatest strengths is its ethos of collaboration in the pursuit of discovery and innovation, and the School of Engineering embraces that spirit,” Marnett said. “This diverse and experienced search committee is invested in finding a candidate who will continue building these important partnerships and delivering transformative education and research opportunities.” 

The members of the search committee are: 

  • Larry Marnett (chair), dean of Basic Sciences, Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research, and University Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry 
  • Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Peabody College of education and human development 
  • Gautam Biswas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Computer Science and computer engineering and engineering management
  • Joshua Caldwell, Flowers Family Faculty Fellow in Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering
  • Maria Lopez Cavastany, biomedical engineering Ph.D. student 
  • Duke Herrell, professor of urology and professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering 
  • Bennett Landman, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering 
  • Matthew Lang, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering 
  • Sankaran Mahadevan, John R. Murray Sr. Professor of Engineering 
  • David Owens, professor of the practice of management and innovation, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry 
  • Cynthia Reinhart-King, University Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering 
  • Corey Thomas, BE’98, CEO and chairman of the board of Rapid7, member of the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust 
  • Tracey George, vice provost for faculty affairs, ex officio

George has met with the School of Engineering staff advisory council to gain insight for the search process. The committee will work with Issacson, Miller, an executive search firm with extensive experience across higher education, nonprofits and foundations, to identify the best candidates.  

Issacson, Miller assisted Vanderbilt with the search for the Blair School dean in 2019. The firm also is assisting with the dean search for the Divinity School.