Message from the Provost

This is the second newsletter from the Provost's Office. Although I originally intended to focus this edition on the budget, I feel that there is sufficient ongoing communication on that subject and wanted to use this opportunity to provide you with news from the Academic Affairs.

I want to thank faculty and staff for their efforts for the university and their understanding of the challenges FIU confronts. This is a marvelous academic community that will grow and mature despite some years of financial compression.

Our plan is to produce at least 4 editions of this newsletter during the next academic year. I hope that your summer will be productive and enjoyable.

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FIU Future House to be Showcased during 2008 Olympics in Beijing

Florida International University's College of Engineering and Computing is proud to be the sole U.S. representative in the "Future House Community Project" in Beijing, China, which will be showcased during the 2008 Summer Olympics. The project will break new ground by uniting 10 countries from around the world with the common goal of advancing the art of home building through environmentally responsible building and ecological forethought.

The FIU team is designing and building a house that demonstrates the most unique and environmentally sustainable housing construction practices and technologies available. Based on Frank Lloyd Wright's environmentally responsible design and the principles of Feng Shui, the house will include a range of features from ultra-efficient geothermal heat pumps to passive and active solar systems. Dr. Yong Tao, Associate Dean for Business and Entrepreneurship Development, College of Engineering and Computing, is leading the FIU team.

For more information, visit the project website at

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FIU Chemistry Chair Receives International Honor

Dr. Stanislaw Wnuk, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of FIU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded an honorary professorship in chemistry by the Polish Academy of Sciences and the President of the Republic of Poland.

President Lech Kaczynski presided at the ceremony which took place at the Presidential Palace in Poland on April 17. Dr. Wnuk was among 86 scholars who were recognized for their outstanding achievements in research and scholarship. He was one of only two foreign scientists to be awarded an honorary professorship and the only American awardee. Scholars were nominated for the honor by the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the final selection was made by the President's Scientific Board.

"This is a great honor for Professor Wnuk and international recognition of the world-class faculty we have at Florida International University," says Dr. Kenneth Furton, Dean of FIU's College of Arts and Sciences.

A native of Poland, Dr. Wnuk earned an undergraduate and a master's degree in chemistry at Polytechnic University of Poznan, Poland, in 1976 and a doctoral degree in chemistry from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland in 1983. He was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Chemistry at University of Alberta from 1985-1986.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the election of Poland's first democratic government, Dr. Wnuk emigrated to the United States in 1990 and served as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Brigham Young University for seven years. He joined the FIU faculty in 1997.

Dr. Wnuk is an internationally renowned expert on organic chemistry of nucleosides with applications in biochemisty and in anticancer and antiviral medicine. He has published more than 100 articles in major international journals and has lectured extensively at scientific conferences and symposia around the world.

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Faculty Senate Elects New Officers

Elections were held in April to select new officers of the FIU Faculty Senate for the 2008-2010 term. Dr. Thomas Breslin, Professor of International Relations, will become Chair, replacing outgoing Chair Bruce Hauptli. Dr. Laurie Richardson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, was elected Vice Chair; and Mr. Marcel Escoffier, Associate Professor of Hospitality Management and former Faculty Senate Chair, was elected Secretary. The new officers will assume their positions on August 1.

Dr. Hauptli served on the Faculty Senate for 26 years, and was chair from 1986-1988, and from 2004-2008. He presided over the Faculty Senate when the new Tenure and Promotion Manual and FIU's MWF schedule were approved. He served on the Board of Trustees at a time when it was still establishing itself and helped the Board members to understand the importance of collegial governance. He will be on sabbatical in 2008-09.

"I want to thank Dr. Hauptli personally for his sterling job as our Chair," said Ronald M. Berkman, Executive Vice President and Provost. "He has managed these eventful years with grace and the ability to keep us all on track through a busy agenda. I look forward to working with Dr. Breslin and his leadership team."

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Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for SACS Reaffirmation

Great strides have been made this year in developing our QEP for the 2010 site visit for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Adding an international component to the undergraduate curriculum at both the lower and upper division levels will be the focus of our plan. Open Forums were held March 27 and 31 to obtain input regarding the Student Learning Objectives.

A call for participation in Faculty Learning Communities for Internationalizing the Curriculum expects to attract faculty interested in exchanging and developing innovative approaches for the QEP. These interdisciplinary groups will share their ideas and strategies with assistance from the Academy for the Art of Teaching.

The QEP Development Team will present curriculum guidelines to the Faculty Senate for approval in Fall 2008. Units will then begin planning for how best to document curriculum which meets the QEP requirements.

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President Maidique Hosts Reception Honoring Outstanding Faculty

More than two dozen distinguished FIU faculty members were honored for their outstanding accomplishments in research and scholarship at a reception hosted by FIU President Modesto A. Maidique on April 2.

FIU academics who have won national and international acclaim for garnering prestigious awards and grants, authoring well-received books, and achieving significant research accomplishments were recognized at the event.

The breadth of research interests of the honorees ranged from environmental and human health to hurricane mitigation; from the development of interventions to address alcohol and substance abuse and HIV to the development of carbon nanotube materials with wide applications.

Faculty members who have contributed to the high standing of FIU's Ph.D. programs in the Academic Analytics reports, which are a national quantitative measure of faculty scholarly activity, were also honored.

Ronald M. Berkman, Executive Vice President and Provost, and George Walker, Vice President for Research and Dean of the University Graduate School, joined President Maidique in welcoming the following honorees:


Malek Adjouadi, Biomedical & Electrical Engineering
Arvind Agarwal, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Joseph Boyer, Southeastern Environmental Research Center
Dorothy Brooten, Nursing & Health Sciences
Won Bong Choi, Mechanical & Materials Engineering
Mario De La Rosa, Social Work
James Fourqurean, Biology/Southeastern Environmental Research Center
Evelyn Gaiser, Biology/Southeastern Environmental Research Center
Shahid Hamid, Business/Hurricane Center
Xudong He, Computing & Information Science
Michael Heithaus, Marine Biology
James Jaccard, Psychology
Tao Li, Computing & Information Science
Wenzhi Li, Physics
Robert Lickliter, Psychology
Stephen Leatherman, International Hurricane Research Center
Robert Malow, Public Health
Pete Markowitz, Physics
Michael McClain, Environmental Studies
Campbell McGrath, English
Madhavan Nair, Medicine
Steven Oberbauer, Biology
Richard Olson, Political Science
Gary Rand, Environmental Studies/Southeastern Environmental Research Center
Raju Rangaswami, Computing & Information Science
Kathleen Rein, Chemistry
Naphtali Rishe, Computing & Information Science
David Roelant, Applied Research Center
Deodutta Roy, Public Health
Luis Salas, Criminal Justice
Wendy Silverman, Psychology
Mary Ann von Glinow, Management & International Business
Eric Wagner, Social Work
Mira Wilkins, Economics


President Maidique congratulated the faculty members for their contributions and emphasized their importance in accomplishing the University's mission and ambitious academic goals.

Dr. Walker noted that during this time of financial difficulty, it's critical for the university to talk about the importance of scholarly excellence as well as budgetary constraints.

"We need to let outstanding faculty know that we are very proud of their accomplishments, and that we want to build a university that will allow them to fulfill their considerable scholarly potential," he said.

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