Zulma Toro-Ramos, dean of the College of Engineering at Wichita State University since 2005, has been named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, effective in January 2013.
WSU President John Bardo and Interim Provost Keith Pickus will determine the next step in naming a new dean for the College of Engineering.
"The College of Engineering has prospered greatly under Dean Toro Ramos' leadership and it is poised for even greater accomplishments in the years ahead," said Pickus.
Some of the accomplishments during Toro-Ramos' tenure are:
- Development and implementation of a shared vision for the College of Engineering based on an experience-based education model and the WSU Engineer 2020 Program, which develops students as professionals, leaders and change agents.
- Creation of an environment that fosters and encourages innovation by faculty, staff and students.
- Work on the approval of the University Engineering Initiative Act in 2011 by the Kansas Legislature. The legislation allocated an additional $3.5 million of funding per year to each of the three colleges of engineering in the state. The state recognized WSU's College of Engineering by increasing its annual funding contribution by 57 percent, the largest percentage among the three colleges.
- Establishment of the Center for Innovation and Enterprise Engagement. The center strengthens the local manufacturing industries' innovation competencies in manufacturing processes and product capabilities. The goal of the center is to escalate the development and predominance of south-central Kansas' advanced manufacturing cluster in the global economy.
- Fostered partnerships with K-12, including Project Lead the Way, Changing Faces and summer camps.
- Development and implementation of the bioengineering and engineering technology undergraduate programs.
- Partnership with the College of Education for the development and implementation of the Certificate in Engineering Education.
- Creation of new research programs in sustainable engineered programs, bioengineering and nano-technology, among others.
- Diversification of the faculty and student body, by recruiting and hiring more women and more individuals from underrepresented minorities.
- Conceptualization of a design center to serve students, researchers, outreach efforts, the Wichita community and industry.
"Serving as dean of the Wichita State University College of Engineering has been truly an honor and a privilege," said Toro-Ramos. "I am proud of the college's many accomplishments in teaching and research, and leave with the conviction that it has earned a national reputation as a leader in experience-based engineering education.
"I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and friends of the WSU College of Engineering for the opportunity to serve this extraordinary institution."