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Lennon, Munley named to deputy provost posts

Jerry Lennon, professor of civil engineering, has been appointed deputy provost for academic affairs.

Jerry Lennon, professor of civil engineering and associate dean of engineering for undergraduate studies, has been appointed deputy provost for academic affairs, and Vince Munley, professor of economics, has been named deputy provost for faculty affairs.

The two appointments were announced Friday by Patrick V. Farrell, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The deputy provost for academic affairs and the deputy provost for faculty affairs play vital roles within the university community, working to facilitate communication among faculty and staff members and students, and to ensure that Lehigh continues to meet the highest standards in administrative and academic excellence.

In addition, Farrell says, “each will have a variety of prominent roles to play in helping us to implement parts of the Strategic Plan.”

As deputy provost for faculty affairs, Munley will assist the provost with faculty issues such as shared governance, policies for faculty recruitment and retention, tenure and promotion policy review, enhancement and implementation, professional development programs for Lehigh faculty members, and the Sloan Program for Faculty Career Flexibility.

“Vince knows the institution and knows the faculty very well,” Farrell says. “He brings the breadth of view and the kind of support we need in this position.”

In his role as deputy provost for academic affairs, Lennon will assist the provost with the integration of general education and co-curricular programs for undergraduate students, the development and implementation of international programs at the university, the Middle States Decennial Review, and collaboration with college deans to ensure the recruitment and retention of top quality students. He also will help develop top quality graduate programs.

“Jerry’s been associate dean in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science for more than four years now and has certainly been on the front lines in helping deliver academic programs, and in constantly looking for ways to make them better,” Farrell says. “And that’s a lot of what I look for in the academic affairs position. Campus-wide, how do we continue to deliver the best programs we can and always be looking for ways to improve them?”

Distinguished careers in research and teaching

Munley succeeds Jean Soderlund, professor of history, who returned to research and teaching this semester after serving more than five years as deputy provost. Lennon succeeds Carl Moses, who left last summer to become provost at Susquehanna University.

“In both cases, they’re big shoes to fill,” Farrell says. “Both Carl and Jean, as the first holders of these positions, helped define what they could be and helped to figure out the ways these roles could really add to Lehigh significantly as a whole.”

Munley says a “very helpful conversation” he had with Soderlund was a major factor in his decision to pursue the post.

“In talking with Jean, I learned that there are clearly opportunities for new initiatives.”

As an alumnus who earned undergraduate degrees from both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering in 1974 and who has served 30 year years on Lehigh’s faculty, Munley says he has “seen Lehigh from a lot of different perspectives.”

Munley also served as Lehigh’s first Ombudsperson, from 2002, when the position was created, until 2007.

“The Ombudsperson’s job was probably the most unique experience I had that was relevant to the deputy provost’s position,” Munley says. “You do get a much broader view of not just the institution, but the working relationships of individuals within the institution.”

Lennon also is looking forward to drawing on his extensive Lehigh experience to make a difference in his new role.

“During my 30 years at Lehigh, I’ve had the opportunity to be a leader in implementing exciting and innovative new programs such as IDEAS,” Lennon says. “And for the past four years, I’ve enjoyed my administrative position as associate dean because I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of faculty and staff across the university to improve the Lehigh experience.

“Now, as deputy provost, I will bring these experiences to bear on the academic challenges that face the university in the current competitive environment, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I’m looking forward to being one of the leaders and helping to coordinate the diverse team that is charged with attracting and retaining truly excellent students, from first-year undergraduates through Ph.D. candidates, and encouraging them to explore and excel in the wide range of programs we offer, both curricular and co-curricular.”     

Munley and Lennon have both distinguished themselves as researchers and teachers.

For three decades, Lennon has conducted studies on groundwater hydrology and surface water hydraulics, surface water/groundwater interactions, and subsurface contaminant migration. He has published more than 70 papers in journals and conference proceedings, and he has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Mellon Foundation and other agencies.

His awards include the Lehigh Class of 1961 Professorship, the Lehigh Junior Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Lindback Foundation Award for teaching excellence by a senior member of the faculty. Lennon earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and his master’s and Ph.D. from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Munley, who earned undergraduate degrees in economics and electrical engineering at Lehigh in 1974, began his faculty career here in 1980, after earning his master’s and Ph.D. from the State University of New York in Binghamton and serving two years as a staff economist for the President’s Council on Wage and Price Stability. He served 10 years as a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources’ Air and Water Quality Technical Advisory Committee, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in Washington, D.C., as well as a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

In addition to serving as Lehigh’s first ombudsperson, Munley has served as Class of 1961 Professor, Iacocca Professor for eight years and economics department chair for two terms. In addition, he has served on the Faculty Steering Committee for more than two years, and is currently the committee chair.

His research is directed at the empirical study of public policy issues, in particular topics related to fiscal federalism.


 

Story by Jack Croft

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010

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