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Provost Van Buskirk Transitions to Teaching and Research

William C. Van Buskirk, PhD, PE, has announced that he will resign his position as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at New Jersey Institute of Technology, effective June 30, 2004, to return to teaching and research as a distinguished professor in the department of biomedical engineering.  He has served in his current role for nearly the past six years. Dr. Van Buskirk informed President Robert A. Altenkirch that he has enjoyed immensely the opportunity to be a part of NJIT’s administrative team and that it has been a great privilege to serve as the chief academic officer of one of the most highly regarded technological research universities in the nation.

In accepting his resignation, Dr. Altenkirch took note of Dr. Van Buskirk’s decision 

to move to a new phase in his life and academic career. “We will miss his enlightened leadership, counsel, energy, and support as an administrator. His contributions to the university have been significant. He has been an enabling force in the movement of the university to its outstanding level of academic achievement,” he said.

Dr. Van Buskirk’s first tenure-track academic appointment was as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Tulane University. He developed an undergraduate program in biomedical engineering that developed into a department he headed for fourteen years. His research efforts were recognized by being invested with an endowed chair. In 1991, he was named dean of the Tulane University School of Engineering. During his seven years as dean, both the undergraduate and graduate enrollment of the school grew, SAT and GRE scores increased, and the dollar volume of research tripled.

In 1998, Dr. Van Buskirk was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In his first year he led a strategic planning effort resulting in many concrete accomplishments: the creation of a department of biomedical engineering, movement of the chemistry and environmental science faculty to the College of Science and Liberal Arts, and the evolution of the department of computer and information science into a College of Computing Sciences with two departments, computer science and information systems. During his tenure enrollment has increased as have SAT scores. Retention and graduation rates have improved as well as student satisfaction, and PhD production has averaged over 50 for the last three years.

Dr. Van Buskirk received his BS from the United States Military Academy. He earned an MS and PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.

Dr. Altenkirch and the entire university community express their gratitude and thank Dr. Van Buskirk for his leadership, contributions to the academic community, his enthusiasm for NJIT, and look forward to his contributions as a distinguished member of the faculty.