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Media Contact:
Dr. Nino A. Masnari, 919/515-2311
Keith Nichols, News Services, 919/515-3470

Aug. 19, 2005

Dr. Nino Masnari to Step Down as College of Engineering Dean


Dr. Nino A. Masnari
Dr. Nino A. Masnari

Dr. Nino A. Masnari, dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University, has announced that he will step down from the position at the end of July 2006.

Dean of the college since August 1996, Masnari has overseen major growth in enrollments, research funding, private financial support for scholarships and professorships, and college facilities, including the opening of three new buildings on Centennial Campus.

During his term as dean, the College of Engineering undergraduate and graduate enrollment increased significantly. The number of undergraduate and graduate degrees reached record highs. The college currently is third in total degrees awarded in the nation. Research funding almost doubled, exceeding $90 million. Scholarship funding more than quadrupled, and the total endowment benefitting the college doubled to more than $51 million. The college established a joint department of biomedical engineering with UNC-Chapel Hill and added a bachelor’s degree in paper science and engineering. The number of distance education, two-plus-two, and dual-degree programs greatly increased.

“I have made no specific plans beyond next July, but I certainly look forward to continuing my relationship with NC State University and the College of Engineering. During my 26 years with NC State, I have had the rare opportunity of seeing the College of Engineering from many sides – as a faculty member, department head, center director, and dean – and I have enjoyed each of these roles and the people and experiences that accompanied them,” Masnari said. “Being a part of this college has been very rewarding for me. We have many accomplishments of which we can be proud, and the credit for these achievements goes to the faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication.”

Under his direction, the quality of entering freshmen increased, 112 new faculty members were hired, national recognitions by the National Science Foundation tripled, a novel orientation program for new faculty was initiated, four new centers and institutes were created, and a number of other major research initiatives began.

Programs for minorities and women increased significantly, including the appointment of the first woman as center director and associate dean. Masnari also instituted an aggressive recruiting program, including hiring a director of recruiting and conducting statewide recruiting visits. In 2000, the college received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).

“Dean Nino Masnari’s leadership through the years has brought considerable strength to the College of Engineering,” said NC State Chancellor James L. Oblinger. “Building on an already strong standing among engineering colleges in the United States, he moved the college into the top tier in enrollments, degree production, external funding and institutional cooperation. But one of the things he is most noted for is keeping the best interest of the students as his top priority.”

“I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Dean Masnari both as dean of the College of Natural Resources and as provost,” said Dr. Larry Nielsen, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “I have appreciated his leadership, insight and the wealth of experience he brings to our campus.”

Nielsen will immediately begin forming a nomination committee to oversee a national search for the next engineering dean.

During his final year as dean, Masnari will oversee planning for Engineering Building III and conceptual planning for buildings IV and V.

Masnari, who is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has served as vice chair of the American Society for Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council. He joined the faculty at NC State in 1979 as head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and from 1988 to 1996 he was director of the Center for Advanced Electronic Materials Processing. Prior to coming to NC State, he was a professor of electrical engineering and the director of the Electron Physics Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

Masnari received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. A native of Three Rivers, Mich., he is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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