KU names new dean of School of Engineering

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The University of Kansas has named Mary Rezac as the next dean of the School of Engineering, effective March 1.

Rezac is currently dean of Washington State University’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, according to a news release from KU.


Rezac, a first-generation college graduate, earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Kansas State University, and her master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, according to the release.

She previously worked at Kansas State University for 15 years in multiple positions, including co-director of its Center for Sustainable Energy and head of its Department of Chemical Engineering, according to the release. She was also a faculty member of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Chemical Engineering.

“I have dedicated my career to ensuring that students succeed through the appropriate design of degree programs, training faculty on the best pedagogy and providing extracurricular support via learning centers, peer mentoring and career services,” Rezac said in the release. “I look forward to working with the school’s faculty and staff members to identify any unmet student needs and to implement programs to address them.”

Rezac also holds multiple patents and has co-written more than 250 publications and presentations, according to the release, and she has served on policymaking groups including the Council for Chemical Research, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the National Research Council.

In her role as dean of KU’s School of Engineering, Rezac will oversee a budget of approximately $34 million, and she’ll be responsible for “providing imaginative, dynamic and transformational leadership to ensure the school’s long-term success,” according to the release.

Current Dean Arvin Agah’s five-year term ends at the end of December. He will return to his role as a professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science.

“Thanks to the leadership and guidance of the Deans who preceded me, I inherited a strong, thriving School. The next Dean will inherit a splendid leadership team of chairs and associate deans,” Agah wrote in the fall 2023 issue of Kansas Engineering. “The next Dean will have the honor of leading an outstanding group of dedicated staff and faculty and will serve talented students who go into the world and do amazing things.”

Other finalists for the position included Adrienne Minerick, Caroline Schauer and Atul Kelkar. A search committee of 20 members selected Rezac.

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