Engstrom named acting dean University of South Dakota Research Director Royce Engstrom has been named acting dean of the Graduate School at USD, according to an announcement Sept. 17 by USD Academic Affairs Vice President Donald Dahlin.
Effective Oct. 1, in addition to his duties as research director, Dr. Engstrom will serve out the 1998-99 academic year in the graduate deanship position. Dr. Charles N. Kaufman, who has announced his retirement at the end of this academic year, will continue his duties as the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, taking on additional work in that position.
"We are pleased that Professor Engstrom has agreed to serve in this critical position," Dahlin said. "He is an outstanding individual with a consistent record of high performance."
An important part of Engstrom's work this year will be to examine how best to combine the graduate deanship and director of research into one position in a way that reinforces the importance of both research and graduate education at USD. Before the end of the current academic year, a search is planned to fill the combined position on a permanent basis.
"This is a special opportunity," said Engstrom, who has been at USD for 19 years including the last two as research director. "I am excited at the challenge of seeing how we can combine these two positions in a way that strengthens our graduate and research efforts. I invite suggestions or ideas from students and faculty as to how best to accomplish this objective."
Engstrom, who has been a USD chemistry professor for 17 years, earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in 1979 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry in 1975 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Chair of the USD Department of Chemistry from 1984-95, Engstrom has served as state project director for the South Dakota EPSCoR Program and was president of the national Council on Undergraduate Research during 1996.