New College of Technology interim dean announced
After the former dean of the College of Technology, William Fitzgibbon, stepped down Dec. 1, Neil Eldin was selected to serve as interim dean of the department. Eldin first joined UH as head of the Department of Construction Management in 2007.
“I am confident that Dr. Eldin will perform admirably in his new role,” Provost Paula Myrick Short said. “Dr. Eldin has thus far championed the development of construction management into a full-fledged department since he began work at the University in 2007. The program has grown considerably since its inception and continues to make great strides for the University of Houston.”
Short said she will initiate a national search for a new dean in Fall 2016. The Cougar sat down with Eldin and discussed his recent appointment and plans for the College of Technology.
The Cougar: Can you provide some background on yourself?
Neil Eldin: I am a civil engineer by training, (and) I have almost 50 years of experience between academia and the industry. I worked for some major international employers. I have a passion for teaching and research, (and) I have won teaching excellence awards. Research is a must for anyone who wants to grow in any field they are in.
TC: Why did you decide to take up the position as interim dean of the College of Technology?
NE: I have served the Department of Construction Management for eight years. (At first) that was a small program (of) 150 students, and it was not well known in the world. I took this program with the intention to grow it and place it on the map, make it one of the premiere signature programs, (and) we did that. I enjoy bringing the industry and (getting) our students good starting salaries.
TC: How did you feel when Paula Short asked to take this position?
NE: I feel honored that I’m being selected to lead the college and not just a department.
TC: What are your responsibilities with the Department of Constriction Management, and will you continue this title once you assume your role as interim dean?
NE: I am very much hands-on therefore, I could not handle both jobs at the same time. I believe that the department head should be involved with their students, staff and faculty. Working 10, 12, 14 hours a day as a department head, I don’t believe that anyone can properly handle both (positions.) Therefore, I have selected one of my best senior faculty members to fill in the position for interim chair to take care of the focus of the department.
TC: Is there anything you’d like technology students or the UH community to know about you?
NE: I am here to serve to the best of my ability. The change in leadership (is) not a sign of weakness or lack of direction. It is a matter of continued growth. I believe in transparency (and follow an) open door policy. It is a revolving door for students and faculty. I am connected, very engaged, and I will keep it that way as dean.