‘Continuing the momentum:’ Upcoming engineering interim dean discusses his WSU career

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For the second time in two years, engineering professor Steven Skinner is stepping in as interim dean of the College of Engineering. Skinner will be taking this position during the introduction of the new School of Computing, which Skinner said is a pivotal moment for the engineering school.  

“It’s something that I am looking forward to,” Skinner said.  “I’m just continuing that momentum and so I’m gonna leave it to the next dean if there wants to be any new initiatives, for sure we don’t want to slow down on the initiatives that we already started.” 

In his 29 and a half years working at WSU, Skinner has held many positions in the College of Engineering.  He started as an assistant professor in electrical engineering and worked up the ranks to become a full time professor.

He has also served as department chair of electrical and computer engineering, and has served on the faculty senate including as faculty senate president from 2011-2012.

“I have been all over the map,” Skinner said.

Skinner said that he is prepared to take this role due to his experience as an associate dean in 2012, which has helped him learn to manage the college.  His experience as faculty senate president familiarized him with the different perspectives of faculty in various colleges.

During his time as professor Skinner has grown a passion for building long term relationships and connections with his students.

“My favorite thing is interacting with students, having a positive impact on their lives and careers . . . helping them grow and have better lives, and for sure interacting with them is my favorite part,” Skinner said.

Skinner said that he hopes to be a part of Wichita State’s growth.

“It’s been exciting to see Wichita State grow . . . seeing the transformation of the golf course into an innovation campus, increasing the amount of industry interaction and the experiential and applied learning experiences that our students now have opportunities to have, I think it’s been really exciting,” Skinner said. “I feel that Wichita State has led the nation in a lot of these aspects.”