Vanderlick to step down as dean; helped make engineering ‘cool’ at Yale

Kyle Vanderlick will return full time to teaching and research after her current term as dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science concludes, announced President Peter Salovey in a message to the Yale community on Jan. 6.

Kyle Vanderlick

Vanderlick, the Thomas E. Golden Jr. Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, came to Yale in 2008 and “has excelled in carrying out her charge to reinvigorate engineering at Yale,” wrote Salovey. “Her decade in the deanship has seen the university reemerge as a national leader in engineering education and research.”

As dean, Vanderlick worked with the faculty to implement a new strategic plan focused on key engineering disciplines unified by a set of interdisciplinary research priorities; helped to recruit more than 30 new faculty members; paved the way for vital capital improvements, notably the renovation of 17 Hillhouse Ave. to include extensive research space and state-of-the-art teaching facilities; and oversaw the school’s expansion to include the Department of Computer Science, said Salovey.

Under her leadership, two groundbreaking initiatives — the Center for Engineering Innovation & Design (CEID) and the Advanced Graduate Leadership Program — “have helped to integrate the school more closely with the wider university and have vaulted Yale to the forefront of engineering education,” said Salovey. “Not surprisingly, Kyle has been especially successful in her outreach to alumni, capturing their interest in and gaining their support for the school.” Fundraising during her time as dean has included gifts of $50 million for 10 new endowed faculty chairs, $26 million to create and sustain the CEID, $20 million for growth in computer science, and $10 million for the new undergraduate teaching concourse scheduled to open in fall 2017.

 “Kyle has brought to life on our campus the ‘cool’ nature of engineering,” said Salovey. “Interest and enrollment in Yale’s engineering programs has skyrocketed, and student groups centered on engineering now abound — including a chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, launched in recent years. Her energy and creativity are reflected in every facet of the vibrant school she has shaped and shepherded these past 10 years.”

Vanderlick’s term runs through Dec. 31, 2017, said the president, noting that “in a reflection of her deep commitment to the school’s continued success, she has graciously offered to remain as dean through the end of the 2017-2018 academic year if needed to ensure a seamless transition.”

The work to identify the next dean will be led by Tamar Gendler, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.