VOLUME 19 #2

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New deans to lead three colleges

Bruce Weber Babatunde Ogunnaike
Bruce W. Weber, left, and Babatunde A. Ogunnaike join a third newly appointed dean, Lynn Okagaki, whose photo was unavailable at press time.

ON THE GREEN | Three of the University’s colleges have new leaders for the 2011-12 academic year, with the appointment of two deans and an interim dean who began their positions during the summer.

Bruce W. Weber, an authority on information technology (IT) management and a top administrator at London Business School, has been named dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

“Bruce brings to the Lerner College administrative experience at a top-ranked business school and insight into how business schools teach and conduct research,” UD President Patrick Harker says. “His is the kind of idea leadership we need at UD—leadership that will improve business practice and develop our students into technologically savvy, global leaders.”

Weber succeeds Bobby Gempesaw, who recently accepted an appointment as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs at Miami University in Ohio.

Weber, who was a professor of information management and founding area chair of management science and operations at London Business School for five years, specializes in IT management in the financial services sector. His research has contributed methods for valuing IT capabilities, measuring diffusions of new trading platforms and identifying behavioral patterns in computerized markets. He holds a doctorate in decision sciences from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University.

In the College of Education and Human Development, Lynn Okagaki succeeds Nancy Brickhouse, who served as interim dean since January 2011 and now has transitioned to her position as deputy provost at UD.

Okagaki previously was commissioner of the National Center for Education Research in the Institute of Education Sciences in Washington, D.C. Under her leadership, the center nearly doubled its research grant activities and launched several innovative research programs. She initiated the Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies and also created the $100 million Reading for Understanding Research Initiative.


“Lynn Okagaki has been a key player in forging national research policy in education,” says UD Provost Tom Apple. “With her strong leadership skills, proven administrative ability and extensive research expertise, she will be a great leader, adding national prominence to our College of Education and Human Development.”

Formerly an associate dean and professor of child development and family studies at Purdue University, Okagaki received her bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral sciences from the University of California at Davis and her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Cornell University. She has authored numerous journal articles and chapters on minority students’ achievement and on parenting and school achievement and was co-editor of three books.

Babatunde A. Ogunnaike, William L. Friend Chair of Chemical Engineering at UD and previously deputy dean of the College of Engineering, has been named interim dean of the college, succeeding Michael J. Chajes, who returns to the faculty as professor of civil and environmental engineering.

Apple calls Ogunnaike a distinguished engineering educator whose career encompasses industrial experience, academic prowess and expertise with international knowledge-based partnerships.

“Tunde’s leadership and teaching have had a profound impact on the development of thousands of engineers and industrial practitioners,” Apple says. “His experience and familiarity with the college’s vision make him an ideal individual to take on this expanded leadership role, and I am confident that under his direction, the successes and trajectory of the College of Engineering will continue to make an impact in research, graduate and undergraduate education.”

Ogunnaike joined the UD faculty in 2002 as a professor with dual appointments in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute’s Center for Systems Biology, following a 13-year research career with DuPont.

Known as an outstanding scholar and mentor, Ogunnaike earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and a master’s degree in statistics and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

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