Associate Dean Jeffrey Engler, Ph.D., has been appointed interim dean of The Graduate School at UAB while a search is conducted for a permanent candidate. He fills the vacancy created by the Dec. 31 retirement of Bryan Noe, Ph.D., who was <UAB’s first full-time Graduate School dean from 2005 to 2014.
“Dr. Engler is a seasoned educator, researcher and administrator responsible for implementing national initiatives in graduate education at UAB, said Provost Linda Lucas. “We are confident in his continuing leadership and appreciate his willingness to serve the students and the university.”
“Graduate education is an important part of UAB’s mission to prepare future leaders to serve our communities, both local and global,” Engler said. “I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff to bring the best graduate students to train at UAB.”
Lucas said she is meeting with stakeholders across campus in January to discuss the future of graduate education and better determine the expectations and necessary qualifications for the next dean.
UAB’s graduate enrollment, up 43 percent in the past decade, is the highest among Alabama universities at 5,937 in fall 2014. The diverse group — two-thirds female, nearly 30 percent minority — are pursuing degrees in 50 master’s programs, 37 doctoral programs and eight education specialist programs.
Engler, who has been associate dean since 2006, has been responsible for recruiting a diverse student population, teaching, research and grant writing, training students and peers in research ethics and diversity and presenting at workshops and conferences.
Engler also has been instrumental in innovative national initiatives, including UAB’s participation in the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning — an NSF-funded consortium of 23 premier research institutions dedicated to improving the STEM-teaching skills of graduate students, postdoctoral trainees and faculty.
Lucas said she will finalize the membership of the search committee and organize its first meeting soon after a forum organized by the UAB Faculty Senate to discuss graduate education. That meeting will be held 3:30 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Callahan Eye Foundation the Smith Education Center.
Lucas said the search committee will have broad representation within UAB, and the search will be open to internal and external candidates. The search committee will review applicants, and finalists for the position will make public presentations.