Kansas State University, following a lengthy national search, has named Amit Chakrabarti as its dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Indian American professor is the recipient of numerous awards for excellence in teaching. (photo provided)

Kansas State University April 14 announced that it has named Indian American Amit Chakrabarti as its new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The announcement of Chakrabarti taking over the post came following a national search, the university said in a news release.

"The College of Arts and Sciences is built on a solid foundation," Chakrabarti said in a statement. "With the college's talented faculty and amazing students, we can make more opportunities available to K-Staters in research and education in the arts and sciences. I am honored to serve in this role to continue the college's success in research, scholarship and diversity.”

Chakrabarti has served as interim dean of the university's largest college since February last year.

The arts and sciences college has 24 departments and a broad array of majors, secondary majors and minors spanning many disciplines, the university said.

Prior to the interim position, Chakrabarti was the head of the department of physics and the William and Joan Porter chair in physics.

As dean, Chakrabarti will be 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 with faculty, department heads, deans and administrators on interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. Additionally, he will be asked to maintain alumni and donor relations.

"I am excited to welcome Dr. Chakrabarti as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” said April Mason, provost and senior vice president, in a statement. “He has shown remarkable leadership and valuable collaborative skills during his tenure at Kansas State University. Those skills will continue to benefit students, faculty, staff and alumni as the university progresses with its goal to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

Chakrabarti, who joined K-State in 1990 and became a full professor in 2000, was named head of the university’s physics department in 2011, leading a 30-faculty member team. He was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head in 2016 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2002.

He also received the university’s 2009 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, which recognizes quality research and advising of graduate students, and is a two-time winner of the Stamey Award for Teaching Excellence from the College of Arts and Sciences.

A theoretical physicist with interests in soft matter and statistical physics, Chakrabarti’s individual and collaborative research projects have received extramural funding from agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The Indian American dean has a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, and master's and bachelor's degrees in physics from the University of Calcutta.

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