Engineering dean candidate would strive to recruit women in engineering


Ella Dominguez

Hamid Hefazi, one of four finalists for dean of the College of Engineering at WSU, speaks to faculty and staff about his qualifications for the position. Hefazi currently serves as the Aerospace Engineering Department head at Florida Institute of Technology.

Hamid Hefazi, professor and head of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Florida Institute of Technology, is one of the four finalists for dean of the College of Engineering at Wichita State.

Thursday, WSU hosted a public forum for faculty and students to ask Hefazi questions as part of the process of selecting the next engineering dean.

Hefazi said gender and cultural diversity were two areas that need improvement in the engineering field. A lack of gender diversity is a consistent problem, he said.

Hefazi said that 50 percent of faculty that he brought on at his department at the Florida Institute of Technology were women, and he would strive to support and recruit women engineers at WSU.

“The future is a bit brighter than in the past,” Hefazi said about representation of women in engineering.

“Leaders must articulate the vision, encourage, direct, and inspire faculty towards the desired future state,” Hefazi said.

Hefazi said if he were chosen as the next dean, his vision for the future of engineering at WSU would be similar to WSU’s current mission.

“Excellence has to be deeply embedded in the culture of the college,” Hefazi said.

Three areas that Hefazi mentioned several times as pillars of success for any university: recruitment, admission, and support for the students which resulted in higher quality education, staff, and students. Hefazi stressed the importance of “build[ing] a community of support for these students.”