Jonathan (Jon) Cagan, the George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been named interim dean of the College of Engineering. Cagan will formally assume the duties of interim dean on January 1, 2019, when current dean, James H. Garrett Jr., begins his tenure as provost.
Cagan is the ideal person to step into this role, as he currently serves as Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs and Chief Academic Officer of the College of Engineering. Among other efforts, Cagan co-led the strategic plan for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and its implementation, including the formation of the new dual Ph.D. partnership with Howard University; developed a new integrated MS program with Computer Science; and oversaw the revision of core faculty and student policies. He also has served as Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives where, in part, he focused on enhancing our campus in Silicon Valley. In addition, he co-led the 2013 strategic planning process for the College of Engineering, helping to set the stage for new college initiatives.
Cagan joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty in 1990 after completing his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. His research is in engineering design automation and methods—merging AI, machine learning, and optimization methods with cognitive science problem solving. He is the epitome of advanced collaboration, having worked with engineers, psychologists, neuro-scientists, marketers, designers, and architects in his work. Cagan also co-founded and co-directed the Integrated Innovation Institute as an outgrowth of his teaching and research in design methodology and practice.
In the coming weeks, the university will launch a national search for a new permanent leader for the College of Engineering, including the announcement of a search advisory committee.