Professor Jim Whitehead has been appointed Baskin School of Engineering’s new Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs. The three-year appointment will be effective July 1, 2020.
As the ADUA, Whitehead will oversee the school’s undergraduate advising unit and curriculum planning activities of the departments. He will help advance student success and the undergraduate education experience for all engineering students.
“This is a critical role for the school,” said Alexander Wolf, Dean of the Baskin School of Engineering. “Baskin Engineering currently serves more than 4,300 engineering majors, as well as thousands of students majoring outside of engineering. We want every one of these students to have the very best educational and research experience they can possibly have while they’re here.”
Whitehead sees his role as a change agent to enhance education, outcomes, planning, advising, and more. His priorities include fostering a culture of teaching excellence, supporting the school’s undergraduate advising office, supporting faculty in their teaching activities, increasing industrial engagement and entrepreneurial thinking across the curriculum, and helping to ensure that industry-bound students are prepared to interview for jobs.
“Baskin Engineering majors are one quarter of the undergraduate students at UC Santa Cruz,” said Whitehead. “The potential to positively impact the experience of over 4,000 students is exciting!”
Outgoing ADUA Professor Tracy Larrabee has served in the position since July of 2014, and has been appointed Chair of the UC Santa Cruz Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) starting in September. While ADUA for Baskin Engineering, Larrabee helped launch the First-Gen STEM Scholar program and spearheaded an innovative retention policy to help ensure students are successful in engineering majors.