Appointment of Interim Dean, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences

From Philip Rous, Interim Provost

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. William R. LaCourse as UMBC’s Interim Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS), effective August 1, 2011. Dr. LaCourse’s appointment concludes an internal search begun in early July. I am extremely grateful for the outstanding service of the members of the search committee that was chaired by Dr. Geoffrey Summers, Vice President for Research.

Dr. LaCourse joined the UMBC community in 1992 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry, holds the rank of Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and served most recently as Chair (2008-2011) of the department.

During the past nineteen years, Dr. LaCourse has established an exemplary record of leadership and service to advancing the mission of the University and the College. He played a founding role in the development and implementation of the Chemistry Discovery Center that has become a model of innovation in pedagogy at UMBC and across the nation. He has also played a leadership role in the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Initiative, which has served to infuse entrepreneurship across the disciplines. He also introduced a Chemistry Minor program and a BA in Chemistry Education. Dr. LaCourse’s research interests include basic and applied research on hydrodynamic electroanalytical techniques in liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis, adsorption phenomena at noble metal electrodes, and advanced sample preparation techniques. The results of his interdisciplinary research have been published extensively, including a sole-authored book and two issued patents.

The Interim Dean serves as the chief academic officer of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, directing the management and business functions of the college, and working with the chairs, faculty, and staff of its departments and centers to promote their undergraduate, graduate, and research programs. As Interim Dean, Dr. LaCourse will lead a college with strong enrollments, a productive faculty and staff, a cadre of excellent undergraduate and graduate students, a strong research enterprise, and growing ties to external constituencies. The Interim Dean reports to the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and is a member of the university’s leadership team.

On behalf of our faculty, students, and staff I would like to thank Dr. LaCourse for his willingness to serve our community in this new capacity to bring his experience and skills to the position of Interim Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

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