I was appointed as the second Dean of the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering (WCE) on November 1, 2012. I wish to recognize the outstanding leadership of my predecessor, Dr. Susan Blanchard, the Founding Dean of WCE, which formally became a College in Fall 2011. Prior to that, WCE was the “School” of Engineering within the Lutgert College of Business.
I come to FGCU after having served 15 years at Penn State University. I served as Head of the Architectural Engineering Department for the first ten of those years (1997 – 2007), after which I was named the first Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering and Founding Director of the Smart Spaces Center for Successful Aging in Place (2007 – 2012). I am glad to be here in this beautiful part of Florida (especially in the winter!), and I am enthusiastic about the strong possibilities for growth and enhancement of this young, vibrant, and emerging College. Much has been accomplished to date by our high quality faculty and staff, the FGCU administration, and the many generous supporters and benefactors of the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering. A robust foundation has been laid for the College. I already sense an unusually high level of collegiality and enthusiasm amongst our faculty, staff and students. My goal over the next several years is to take this emerging College to the next levels of development and achievement. What an exciting position for a new Dean to be in!
Having said all of this, my eyes are wide open to the tight financial position we are now facing at FGCU. I will need to reach out to a wide variety of possible supporters of our College to accomplish our development and achievement goals. Together, we will make this happen.
If you are a serious student who is seriously interested in pursuing the noble profession of Engineering – let us hear from you. We are seeking a diverse population of high quality students to lead the all-important Engineering profession into the future!
Richard A. Behr, Ph.D., P.E.