Engineering Dean Selected To Take Over As Vice President For Research
GAINESVILLE — University of Florida College of Engineering Dean Win Phillips has been offered and accepted the position of vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, UF President John V. Lombardi announced today.
“The national search, in which Win Phillips was a candidate, identified a number of excellent academic administrators who would have done a fine job at UF,” Lombardi said. “But the overwhelming recommendation of all the individuals I consulted — including search committee members, deans and vice presidents — identified Phillips as the best for the job and this university.”
Phillips said he is grateful to President Lombardi and the selection committee for their confidence and looks forward to serving on UF’s leadership team as the university enters the 21st century.
“I am humbled and honored by my selection and look forward to the opportunity to serve in a broader role in the Univeristy of Florida,” Phillips said. “I will strive to continue to increase our research opportunities and strongly support our graduate student programs, quality and growth.”
M. Jack Ohanian has been appointed interim engineering dean while a national search for a new engineering dean is conducted. Ohanian had served as interim vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School since last summer, when Karen Holbrook left that position to become provost at the University of Georgia.
Several key UF administrators said they believe Phillips has the ideal contacts, skills and background to excel in the complex and challenging position.
“Win Phillips was an outstanding candidate with extensive experience as a research scientist in biomedical engineering, educator of graduate students, officer of national societies, member of national funding agency advisory committees and had extensive liaison with industry on the local and national levels,” said Kenneth Berns, chairman of the search committee, UF’s interim vice president of health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine.
Will Harrison, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, echoed Berns’ sentiments.
“Dean Phillips brings outstanding qualifications to the position,” Harrison said. “I never had any doubt he was the candidate of choice. His background in technology and the good connections he has forged will go far in assuring his success.”
John Kraft, dean of the Warrington College of Business Administration, said Phillips’ record in engineering suggests he will excel in his new position.
“He did an exceptional job in the College of Engineering, and I think he has the appropriate skills both internally and externally to do an excellent job,” Kraft said.
Phillips joined UF as dean of the College of Engineering in 1988 after serving as a professor of mechanical engineering and head of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University from 1980 to 1988. Prior to 1980, he served as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, acting chairman of the Intercollegiate Biomedical Engineering Program and professor of aerospace engineering.
The current president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Phillips has held leadership positions in numerous engineering and science societies. Among other positions, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a fellow and past president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a fellow and past president of the American Society for Engineering Education.
Phillips earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and his master’s degree and doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Virginia.
Board of Regents member and Gainesville resident C.B. Daniel, a member of the search committee, said Phillips has the broad background and outlook needed for the job.
“Obviously, he had outstanding credentials and could hit the ground running without having to do a lot of research or information gathering,” he said. “He knows what needs to be done, and he knows the importance of working with other colleges and the medical college and in developing a strong, cohesive effort in these areas.”