WRITER: Darrell J. Pehr
Florida International University Graduate School Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi has been selected to lead the New Mexico State University College of Engineering. Reddi assumed the position as of July 1.
“Dean Reddi is a distinguished scholar and has a track record of increasing enrollment and growing research funding and activity,” said NMSU Provost Dan Howard. “We are looking forward to Dean Reddi’s leadership and energy as he guides a strong College of Engineering to new levels of accomplishment in education, research, and service.”
Leading the college for the past year has been Interim Dean Steven Stochaj.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Steven Stochaj for his superb leadership of the College of Engineering over the course of the past year,” Howard said. “Dr. Stochaj’s willingness to interrupt his research and teaching activities for a year to serve the college and NMSU so well has earned the gratitude and respect of Aggies everywhere. Thank you Dr. Stochaj.”
Reddi said, “It’s a great opportunity to make an impact.”
Reddi said after learning of the university’s strategic goals in conversations with Howard and Chancellor Garrey Carruthers, he found his interests and experience are perfectly aligned with those goals.
>From 2011 to the present, Reddi has served as dean of the University Graduate School and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University.
>From 2013 to the present, he has been director of the Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE) at Florida International University and has held numerous other administrative appointments throughout his career.
>From 2007-2011, he served as department chair and the Gerry and Ruth Hartman Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at the University of Central Florida.
>From 2000-2007, he was head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Kansas State University, also serving as a professor in the department from 1999-2007. He was an associate professor in civil engineering at Kansas State University from 1995-1999 and an assistant professor in civil engineering there from 1992-1995.
>From 1989-1992, Reddi was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Coastal Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The new dean brings an educational background that includes a bachelor of technology in civil engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, 1982, a master of science in civil engineering from The Ohio State University, 1984, and a doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from The Ohio State University, 1988.
Reddi is interested in returning to a land-grant university, especially one that is also a Hispanic-serving institution.
“I greatly admired the land-grant mission for providing quality education and having comprehensive programs in research and outreach,” he said. “New Mexico State University has an excellent culture balancing these three.”
He noted NMSU’s outstanding faculty, diverse student body and the university’s outreach mission.
“New Mexico State has taken it to a very high level,” he said. “Giving access to a diverse body of students and ensuring they succeed is very important to me.”
He also noted the NMSU College of Engineering’s research, outreach and service activities, such as Pathways to Innovation, NASA-EPSCoR and the Water Resources Research Institute. Collaborative opportunities with external stakeholders and community engagement efforts also stand out at the college.
“These are the strengths I see as an outsider,” he said. “When I look at your peer institutions, you are second to none.”
Reddi listed challenges the college faces as the need to build visibility among peers and recruiters; the need for program and faculty growth; the need to increase research productivity and doctoral education; and the need to boost student recruitment, retention and graduation.
The new dean plans to emphasize entrepreneurial and resourceful approaches and to diversify revenue streams at the college. Reddi’s top goal when he arrives as dean will be to increase research productivity.