Announcement from Provost Hanson

Dear CBS faculty, staff, and students:

Thanks to all of you who have sent notes or attended the CBS listening session to share your views about the leadership and direction of the College of Biological Sciences during this important time of transition.

I am delighted to announce that Thomas Hays has agreed to serve as interim dean of the college from July 1 until a new permanent dean is in place. Many of you know Tom, who has served since mid-2010 as one of two associate deans for research and graduate education. In this role, he has focused on and supported the CBS research mission through his work with faculty and graduate students. He has worked to enhance research infrastructure and to foster collaborations among faculty in the biomedical sciences and technology, and he has helped to strengthen existing research programs and to create new ones.

Tom joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1989, after earning his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (GCD) and a graduate faculty member for two programs—molecular, cellular, developmental biology and genetics as well as biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. His research, supported by the NIH for 23 years, focuses on the structural and regulatory mechanisms that drive intracellular transport. I am confident that Prof. Hays will provide experienced and thoughtful leadership that will serve the college well during this critical transition.

As we launch a national search for a new dean, I am pleased to announce the membership of the CBS Dean Search Committee, constituted from your nominations:

  • Trevor Ames, Dean of the College of Veterinary Science; search committee chair
  • David Bernlohr, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head, Dept. of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Cargill Chair in Systems Biology of Human Metabolism
  • Sehoya Cotner, Distinguished University Teaching Professor, Biology Program
  • Sarah Hobbie, Professor, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  • Eric Jolly, President, Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Mos Kaveh, Associate Dean for Research and Planning and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering
  • Gary Muehlbauer, Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Head, Dept. of Plant Biology; Endowed Chair in Molecular Genetics Applied to Crop Improvement, Dept. of Agronomy & Plant Genetics
  • Michael O'Connor, Ordway Professor of Developmental Biology and Head, Dept. of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
  • Robyn Reese, Undergraduate Student, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
  • Nikki Letawsky Shultz, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and International Programs
  • Michael Sadowsky, Distinguished McKnight Professor and Director, BioTechnology Institute; Professor, Soil, Water, and Climate
  • Carl Stenoien, Graduate Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Please watch for progress reports on the search, including the development of a position profile and the selection of a search firm that will assist the committee in attracting a strong pool of candidates to lead CBS. Your input will continue to be invaluable as we shape the position profile and the search process for this important University leadership position. Information and updates about the search will be posted on a search-related webpage that will be added to the CBS homepage. The search committee will begin its work this month, with the expectation that public interviews of finalists will take place during the fall semester or very early next spring semester and that the search will conclude with an appointment of a dean by July 2015.

Please join me in thanking Tom Hays for his willingness to serve as interim dean and in again offering warm thanks to Bob Elde for his many years of outstanding service as a dedicated, imaginative, and truly transformational leader for the college and greater University.


Karen Hanson

Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
University of Minnesota