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Department of Physics

Amit Chakrabarti to serve as interim dean of College of Arts & Sciences

Amit ChakrabartiMANHATTAN — Kansas State University has named an interim dean for its largest college. Amit Chakrabarti, professor and head of the department of physics and the William and Joan Porter chair in physics, will lead the College of Arts & Sciences effective immediately.

April Mason, provost and senior vice president, made Chakrabarti's appointment. He replaces Peter Dorhout, who is serving as interim vice president for research.

Chakrabarti's success as a department head made him the right choice to lead the college, which is home to more than 20 departments, secondary majors and special programs, Mason said.

"As head of physics, Dr. Chakrabarti leads a team of around 30 permanent faculty members who have been recognized at the university and national level for teaching and research excellence, and who have been very competitive in securing millions in external research funding each year," Mason said. "His success as a department head made him the right choice to lead the college at this time and help to advance Kansas State University's plan to be recognized as a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

As interim dean, Chakrabarti will serve as the college's chief academic and administrative officer. He will provide leadership and support to all undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs in the college; oversee its continued excellence and growth in research; and work productively with faculty, department heads, deans and administrators on interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Other duties include maintaining alumni and donor relations, fundraising and more. He will report directly to the provost and serve on the Academic Council of Deans.

"I am honored and excited to serve as the interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences," Chakrabarti said. "This college is the academic center of K-State. Arts & Sciences' students are winners of many major national awards and our graduates are productive as leaders of the nation's scientific and industrial community. The college's faculty members include many university distinguished professors, holders of the Coffman chair for university distinguished teaching scholars, and Presidential Award winners for excellence in undergraduate teaching. The excellent quality of our faculty and students provides a great opportunity to build on our collective strength and help raise the college's profile to a higher level of distinction."

Chakrabarti became head of the physics department in 2011. A theoretical physicist with interests in soft matter and statistical physics, he has worked on diverse soft-matter systems, including liquid mixtures, polymers, liquid crystals, aerosols, colloids, nanoparticles and most recently, self-assembly of proteins. He calls his research curiosity-driven. His individual and collaborative research projects have received extramural funding from agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Honored both for his teaching and research, Chakrabarti received K-State's 2009 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, which recognizes quality research and advising of graduate students. He also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2002, and is a two-time winner of the Stamey Award for Teaching Excellence from the College of Arts & Sciences. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and mentored eight doctoral students and several postdoctoral fellows.

Chakrabarti has a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, and master's and bachelor's degrees in physics from the University of Calcutta, India. He joined K-State in 1990 and was named a full professor in 2000. He served as interim head of the physics department in 2006-2007.

Courtesy of News & Communication Services