New engineering dean named

DECK: Robert Bishop moves from Texas to Marquette

Robert Bishop will become the next Opus Dean of Marquette’s College of Engineering, Provost John Pauly announced Thursday.

On July 1, Bishop will replace the current dean, Stan Jaskolski, who announced his intentions to retire last August.

Bishop comes from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as a department chair and endowed professor in the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics programs.

He was first offered the dean position three weeks ago, but needed time to “gracefully separate from UT,” he said.

“I’m very honored, very happy and very excited,” Bishop said. “I find this particular dean position fascinating. I can’t wait to implement discovery-based learning in a really important university.”

Pauly said he is extremely pleased to be hiring a candidate of Bishop’s caliber.

“He has exceptional credentials,” Pauly said. “He has a record of success doing the things we need the next dean to do.”

Bishop said he will work with Jaskolski to ensure a “seamless transition” into his tenure.

“By the time I arrive, I’ll hit the ground running,” Bishop said. “Dean Jaskolski is a very organized man and he plans on making this transition very smooth. We’ve had daily contact.”

Bishop said he regularly exchanges e-mails with a variety of Marquette contacts and plans on visiting campus twice before July. He will host forums with both faculty and students in the fall.

Jaskolski, who joined Marquette in 2003, expressed confidence in Bishop’s abilities to lead and fill the position.

“It’s like a hand-and-glove relationship, it feels so good,” he said. “The College of Engineering attracted an outstanding person.”

Once in office, Bishop’s main goals are encouraging “discovery learning” opportunities, increasing research and raising awareness about Marquette — particularly its College of Engineering.

Discovery learning, which combines scientific knowledge and real world problems, fits Marquette’s mission of educating the whole person, Bishop said. The opportunity to implement and develop this brand of engineering education is very attractive, he said.

The curriculum will require some fundamental changes to accomplish this goal, he said.

Jaskolski explained that discovery learning is a key element of the strategic plan drafted by the college five years ago.

Another goal is bringing in endowed professors to strengthen graduate programs in energy systems, environmental engineering and biomedical engineering, he said.

Bishop’s experience at University of Texas at Austin’s large, research-based engineering school provides an excellent background for achieving this goal, Jaskolski added.

“I don’t see how Marquette can be involved in solving the problems of modern day like clean water and climate change if we’re not doing research,” he said.

Kyle Kim, an associate professor of engineering, headed the search committee that identified Bishop as a finalist. He said emphasizing faculty research is important, but a significant change will fundamentally alter the college’s model.

Undergraduate education should remain the College of Engineering’s focus, Kim said.

In addition to revamping curriculum and encouraging research, Bishop hopes Marquette can become a leader in holistic engineering education.

“Once the Discovery Learning Center is built, we’re going to have some very compelling stories to tell,” he said.

He plans on utilizing the college’s vast alumni network and his own personal connections to “let the nation and the world know about Marquette.” Additionally, Jaskolski will remain involved with fundraising for the DLC and scholarships, Bishop said.When asked what advice he would give Bishop, Jaskolski said, “Be as bold and aggressive as you possibly can, because you ain’t seen nothing yet.”