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GWU Science and Technology Campus dean resigns

Ali Eskandarian. Courtesy Photo
Ali Eskandarian, who has served for nearly seven years as dean of the George Washington University College of Professional Studies (CPS) and Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC) in Ashburn, has announced his resignation from academic leadership, effective Jan. 31.

Eskandarian will start a sabbatical during the spring semester to focus on planning his future research and academic pursuits, GWU officials said. During the spring term, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Provost Christopher J. Deering will serve as the interim dean.

“Entering the seventh year of my tenure serving GW in two distinct administrative positions simultaneously, each with heavy responsibilities of its own, I am gratified that both units are doing well and resting on solid foundations for future growth,” Eskandarian said in a prepared statement. “Now is the right time to take a sabbatical from administration to focus on my own scientific research as well as other intellectual and professional interests."

During Eskandarian's tenure, the College of Professional Studies increased enrollment to approximately 1,500 students through multiple credit-bearing master's degree programs, graduate certificates and undergraduate degree completion programs, plus hundreds more in non-credit leadership programs and boot camps. He has overseen growth in enrollment at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, with a clear focus on the health and technology-related fields. He has also contributed to the launch of research initiatives, such as the Computational Biology Institute and the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at VSTC.

“Ali has been critical in building the College of Professional Studies and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. Key to this success has been the agility to develop new programs and new ways of offering programs that are responsive to the changing needs of students,” GW Provost Forrest Maltzman said in a prepared statement.

Eskandarian, a theoretical physicist, began his career at GWU in 2002 as an associate dean and one of the founding members of the team that launched CPS, where he led the design and development of several innovative certificates and master’s degree programs. He then served as the senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and research. In addition to his role as dean, he also holds faculty appointments as professor in the Department of Physics and in CPS.

Eskandarian previously held the Oliver professorship and the title of Virginia eminent scholar in the Integrated Science and Technology and Computer Science Departments at James Madison University.

He was also the director for the “Reusable Launch Vehicles: Technology Development and Test Program” study at the National Research Council, which led to important recommendations regarding the future technological options and the nation’s space policy, and served as an adviser to the Army Research Laboratory’s Technology Assessment Board.

Eskandarian’s research interests at GW have been in astrophysics and in quantum computing and information. He has been a founding member of both groups and has served as co–director of the Center for Quantum Computing, Information, Logic, and Topology. Eskandarian holds a B.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics, from GW.

Prior to becoming the senior associate dean in the College of Professional Studies, Deering served as a department chair and as an associate dean in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

“I very much appreciate Chris once again stepping up the plate and taking on an important administrative role,” Maltzman said in a prepared statement.


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