UH names new dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics
UH appointed Mark A. Smith as the new dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics after John Bear stepped down.
Bear, who has been serving as dean for 18 years, announced his departure last January. Smith, a former department head at the University of Arizona, won’t begin his position until Jan. 1, 2011.
“I’m very excited,” Smith said. “It’s a great opportunity to make a significant impact at a really good school.”
Smith said some of his goals include increasing research and helping UH reach its goal of flagship status.
Smith has 18 years of experience in administration at the University of Arizona, where he was head of his department for six years.
As dean, Smith also plans to increase ties with the community and attract new faculty and graduate students.
“I want to make sure students have easy access to participate in this research and excitement,” Smith said.
“Beyond that, make sure they have access to the brightest minds teaching them in the classrooms and labs.”
Smith aims to increase development and engage the community in activities with the college. He also wishes to strengthen ties between the research programs, local industries and the Texas Medical Center.
Students in the natural science and mathematics department are concerned about policies regarding the dual-degree program and the possibility of expanding it college wide.
“The dual-degree program may expand under the new dean,” Youngsoo Park, chemistry senior said. “Originally, it was only for the chemistry department which was organized under Joe Bear.”
Students in the department are interested in connections with the University and are looking to their new dean to take action.
“I heard there is a lot of research on `campus,” Park said. “Maybe he (Smith) will expand correlations between national and international universities.”