College of Science welcomes new dean

By By Federico Martin

By Federico Martin

Pierre Sokolsky, chairman of the department of physics, will replace outgoing College of Science Dean Peter Stang

Sokolsky will begin acting as dean on July 1.

David Pershing, senior vice president for academic affairs, said Stang expressed a desire to retire from his position to go back to full-time teaching and research.

Sokolsky, who was chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, was recommended by the College of Science for several reasons.

“He was chosen because of his proven leadership skills, technical background and experience in private fund raising,” Pershing said. “It was a hard choice.”

On the list of priorities for the new job, Sokolsky said he intends to change the relationship between the College of Science and the rest of the U campus.

“Much of our science is interdisciplinary, and the relationship between faculty (members) should mirror this,” Sokolsky said.

Before switching to the position in the College of Science, Sokolsky worked at the physics department at the U for more than 25 years, starting as an associate professor in 1981.

His latest promotion came in 2003 when he was named department chairman.

Sokolsky’s area of expertise includes ultra high-energy particle physics and gamma rays. His rsum includes a long list of awards and recognitions, including the Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2006. He was also named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in 2002.

Sokolsky is also well-known for raising around $14 million to support science research.

“Private, government and foundation funding are crucial to our continuing success and growth,” Sokolsky said.

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