Ching-Jen Chen has formally announced his retirement as Dean of the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering after 19 years of service.
Chen came to the College in 1992 to become the third dean of the joint university college since its creation in 1982.
Dean Chen noted in his April 2007 preface to the College’s 25th anniversary book documenting the history of the College, “The college was an experiment that had never been tried before: a collaboration between a university and a historically black college that was focused mainly on undergraduate education. Many felt that such a marriage was doomed to failure, but the perseverance of a group of dedicated individuals who had faith in its mission has prevailed.”
Carl A. Moore, Jr. said, “Dr. Chen has taught me to keep my nose down to the grindstone and always give my best effort.”
Under Chen’s guidance, the college has navigated countless challenges arising from the uniqueness of a joint university program. There were a lot of growing pains but through the difficulties came significant growth in the areas, such as increased enrollment, facility expansion, diversity in program offerings and degrees, a cutting-edge multi-disciplinary faculty and exploding research expenditures.
In Chen’s memo announcing his retirement to his faculty and staff, he recounts his successes.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the FAMU-FSU engineering faculty and staff,” said Chen. “During my tenure as dean, the faculty and staff have transformed the College of Engineering from primarily granting undergraduate degrees to a balanced bachelor, master and doctoral degree granting college.”
On Feb. 15, Chen called on his faculty and staff to join him in welcoming John Collier as interim dean of the college of engineering.
“In the last three years, approximately 300 B.S., 50 M.S. and 25 Ph. D degrees annually, the college of Engineering is now highly ranked and recognized as one of the top five producers of BS minority engineers in the nation,” said Chen.
It is projected that Collier will serve as interim dean for a period of 10 to 16 months before a new dean of engineering has been selected.
Collier has been with the College of Engineering since 2006, serving as a professor in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering. Before coming to the college, he served as professor and head of the chemical engineering department at the University of Tennessee.
Collier also was a faculty member at Louisiana State University and Ohio University during his distinguished career.
In closing, Chen said, “Thanks again for your hard work and support during my 19 years as dean. Please be assured that the college is in good hands under the leadership of interim dean Collier.”