Saliba Named Engineering Dean

08.11.2009 | Engineering
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Tony Saliba, Wilke Distinguished Professor, chair of the department of chemical and materials engineering and a three-time University of Dayton graduate, has been named dean of the School of Engineering at his alma mater.

"Dr. Tony Saliba received strong support from all areas of campus. He's an excellent relationship builder who's been able to successfully recruit students and faculty, bring in research dollars and philanthropic support, and build alliances across campus," said Daniel J. Curran, University of Dayton president. "He's a servant-leader who personifies the University of Dayton's Catholic, Marianist mission. He's committed to transforming the School of Engineering's curricula to prepare our graduates for a changing world."

Saliba takes over at a time when the University of Dayton School of Engineering is as popular as ever. The School of Engineering has topped its first-year enrollment goals the past two years, including a record in 2008. The University has nearly 1,700 engineering students. The School of Engineering also has helped the University of Dayton achieve the top spot among all Catholic universities for all sponsored engineering research and development and all sponsored non-medical research.

As dean, Saliba wants to take a greater leadership role in leveraging the Dayton region's strengths in engineering innovation. Internally, he will focus on developing flexible curricula and joint accelerated programs such as a five-year bachelor of science in engineering/MBA program; marketing areas of excellence in the graduate programs nationally; boosting sponsored research through strategic alliances; increasing diversity; and strengthening the school's Catholic, Marianist mission of service.

Saliba became chair in 1994 and turned his department into a research beacon on campus. He also helped raise millions in private philanthropic support, leading to a tripling of endowed chairs in the chemical and materials engineering department. Undergraduate enrollment in chemical engineering is at the highest level in the 99-year history of the department.

"Having been here as a student, on the faculty and as chair, I have not only an appreciation for the teaching, scholarship and service of an engineering school, but also the special way it is done at the University of Dayton School of Engineering," said Saliba, who holds a bachelor and M.S. in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in materials engineering.  He's been a full-time faculty member since 1986.

A fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE), Saliba has won a number of notable awards, including the Michael Bobal Award of Excellence in Teaching from the University of Dayton student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the Alumni Award of Excellence in Teaching from the University of Dayton; and the Award of Outstanding Professional Achievement from the Affiliate Societies Council of Engineering and Science Foundation of Dayton. His students have won more than 45 national and regional awards, including the national SAMPE award in eight of the last 14 years.

Saliba is highly committed to student success. He oversees a summer engineering program for gifted high school students. Enrollment in the program, rated as excellent by the Ohio Department of Education, has doubled in the past three years.

On the administrative level, he chaired the Vision 2005 strategic plan for the School of Engineering, coordinated with the College of Arts and Sciences on a $22 million renovation of the Science Center on campus, and worked with industry on developing full-time, co-op and internship opportunities for students.

"The confidence the faculty, staff and students in the School of Engineering and across our campus have shown in me is truly appreciated.  I look forward to continuing to serve our school and our university," Saliba said.   "I am very humbled by the trust that Dr. Curran has in my ability to lead the School of Engineering, and look forward, with dedication and enthusiasm, to being part of his servant-leadership team."

Saliba lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, with his wife, Susan, and children, Joey, Justin and Alaina.
For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.