UTA taps seasoned administrator and academic leader as new dean of the College of Engineering
Peter E. Crouch, dean of engineering for the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the former dean of Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, joins The University of Texas at Arlington in August as dean of the nationally ranked College of Engineering and as a professor of electrical engineering.
As dean, Crouch has led significant enrollment growth, established strong partnerships with businesses and workforce leaders and elevated the colleges’ national rankings. He has helped secure millions of dollars in federal support for major research centers focused on renewable energy, environmental security, space flight and flexible electronics displays among other areas of emphasis; has led expansion of engineering programs to China, India and Mexico, and enhanced online offerings for working professionals.
“We are incredibly pleased to welcome Dr. Crouch to the College of Engineering,” President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “Dr. Crouch has built a reputation as a forward-thinking, hard-charging, seasoned administrator and collaborative leader with a rare ability to cultivate relationships across communities – from elementary school students to government leaders, from corporations to funding agencies and donors. He is remarkably well prepared to continue the growth in reputation and size of the UTA College of Engineering, and make it not just the best in Texas but one of the very best in the nation.”
As dean, Crouch will lead the nationally ranked College of Engineering composed of seven departments: Bioengineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering; Materials Science and Engineering; and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The College serves about 7,000 students and has awarded more than 1,500 degrees to date for the 2015-16 academic year, a 28 percent increase from the previous year.
Crouch said he was attracted to UTA by the University’s reputation as an internationally recognized research institution in the heart of the vibrant North Texas region, by the vision for the model 21stcentury urban research university laid out in the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact and by the commitment to innovation, creativity and collaboration on the part of UTA faculty, staff and students.
“UTA is already distinguished by excellence and access through transformative knowledge production and education based on scholarship, collaboration, innovation, creativity and global impact,” Crouch said. “To that end, we will set clear objectives to move the College to a new level. We will embrace the vision for what UTA will become, be equipped for and manage student growth, focus vigorous research on the university’s guiding themes, and cultivate diversity across the College.”
Jim Crites, executive vice president for the Operations Division of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, said, “I am delighted that Peter Crouch has accepted the opportunity to lead the College of Engineering to new heights. He has demonstrated his ability to enable all to succeed through his leadership at Arizona State University and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.”
Crites, who served on the search committee for Crouch and on the advisory board for UTA’s College of Engineering, added, “I have every confidence in him to build upon the great foundation laid by Dean Koshrow Behbehani along with the faculty and staff in order that all can realize the vision we have collectively created for the college and university.”
A native of England, Crouch earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Warwick University in Coventry in 1973, and his master’s degree in Control Theory from Warwick the following year. Crouch then earned his Ph.D. in applied sciences from Harvard University in 1977. After joining Arizona State University in 1984, he rose through the academic ranks before being named dean of what would become the Fulton School of Engineering in 1995. He also served as ASU’s vice provost for global engagement from 2005 to 2006.
Crouch was appointed dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2006.
In his previous roles, Crouch successfully enlisted the help and support of major corporations including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman Corp., Motorola, and others to advance excellence in engineering education. At ASU, he worked closely with university’s leaders to secure the $50 million naming gift for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and helped lead the School into the top 50 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
A strong collaborator and fundraiser, he helped attract two $5 million gifts for the Department of Bioengineering. Together with the now ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, he helped attract an $11 million gift from Motorola to enhance manufacturing research and education at ASU. At UH Mānoa, Crouch co-developed the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. CRESMET went on to attract more than $20 million federal grants. Crouch also helped lead the successful proposal development of a multi-million dollar Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence grant called the Center for Island, Maritime and Extreme Environment Security.
“Clearly, one of the main rationales for engineering colleges is to support the engineering and technologically focused workforce. We excelled in that regard in Honolulu and Phoenix,” Crouch said. “UTA already has great ties to those sectors that provide an excellent opportunity to serve the Arlington-Dallas-Fort Worth and greater Texas communities. The more we strengthen these bonds, the stronger UTA and our community partners will become.
“These relationships also tie into a fundamental research component that universities and those sectors share. We must provide a mechanism for businesses to think of UTA as a conduit for easily accessible research and development projects.”
About the UTA College of Engineering
The UTA College of Engineering is one of the fastest growing Colleges in size and reputation in Texas and the nation. It offers 10 baccalaureate, 14 master’s and nine doctoral degree programs, and its undergraduate and graduate programs are ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best in the nation.
With more than 7,000 students and 25,000 alumni, the College of Engineering is the third-largest in Texas, providing the local, regional, and national workforce with motivated and highly skilled graduates. The College spans seven buildings, including the Engineering Research Building, which opened in 2011. A new Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building is scheduled to be completed in summer 2018. With a commitment to creating viable solutions to today’s most pressing problems, the College of Engineering is helping make UTA the model 21st century urban research university.
About The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is a Research 1 – Carnegie “highest research activity” institution which served about 54,000 degree-seeking students in campus-based and online degree programs in the 2015-16 academic year and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.