• March 31, 2015

Iowa State Daily

College of Engineering names Sarah Rajala as new dean

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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:41 pm | Updated: 2:40 pm, Mon Jan 7, 2013.

The ISU College of Engineering has named Sarah Rajala as its next dean, according to an ISU news release. 

The news release states Rajala, who has been the dean of the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State since 2008, will begin working at Iowa State on April 1, 2013. The position was left vacant in July after former College of Engineering Dean Jonathan Wickert was promoted to his current position of senior vice president and provost. 

While working as the dean of engineering at Mississippi State, Rajala accomplished many things. According to the ISU news release, she "raised more than $30 million in private gifts, revised the College of Engineering’s strategic plan, and established a diversity advisory council to improve the success rates of students of color and women."

Rajala earned her bachelor's degree from Michigan Technological University and her master's and doctorate from Rice University. Prior to becoming the dean of engineering, Rajala served as the department chair of electrical and computer engineering at Mississippi State. She was also the associate dean for research and graduate programs at North Carolina State University. 

Rajala was the third and final candidate to speak at open forums the ISU College of Engineering held in its search for a new dean. At her open forum Dec. 4, Rajala promised growth and diversification in the ISU College of Engineering, according to a previous Daily article

“We need to figure out how to diversify our portfolio and be able to continue to support the work we imply that we can achieve,” Rajala said at her forum, according to a previous Daily article.

The article states Rajala emphasized at her open forum the importance of students having a global perspective, especially through studying abroad.

Rajala also said the success of the College of Engineering relies on bringing in the right staff and students, the previous article said. 

“You want to look at how much promise and potential there is [within that person]," Rajala said at her forum, according to the previous article. "Not only do we have to identify these individuals, but we have to provide them with the support they need to be successful."

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