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Engineering educator Keith officially named dean of MSU’s Bagley College

STARKVILLE. – A nationally recognized leader in engineering education, research and service will lead the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University.

The "interim" will soon be removed from Jason Keith's title as dean of Mississippi State's Bagley College of Engineering.

The “interim” will soon be removed from Jason Keith’s title as dean of Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering.

Jason M. Keith, who has served as interim leader and Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport Jr. chair since March 2014, will assume the duties of dean June 1.

Keith was chosen after an extensive national search and interview process. The selection will be officially approved in the June meeting of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning board of trustees.

“I am confident that Dr. Keith will be an outstanding leader for the Bagley College of Engineering,” said Jerome A. Gilbert, provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State. “He has proven skills and a well-articulated vision to lead the college into the future.”

During the interview process, Keith outlined a vision for the college that would attract top students, faculty and staff, and increase external visibility while providing a supportive working and learning environment.

“Our undergraduate program continues to maintain a very strong reputation among industry leaders,” Keith said. “We want to maintain that excellence and continue to grow the competitiveness of our graduate and research programs.”

Keith said one of the keys to success is to further increase interdisciplinary cooperation, both between engineering departments and research centers and other colleges at Mississippi State University. He would also like to increase external support for undergraduate scholarships, graduate assistantships, faculty and supplemental programs in the college.

“We have some of the best alumni in the nation,” Keith explained. “Their support has had a substantial impact on making the college what it is today and will be instrumental as we work to grow and reach our goals.”

Keith, who was named a 2014 Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, joined the Bagley College of Engineering in 2011 as a professor and director of the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering.

Since joining the faculty, Keith has been active in developing innovative teaching methods in engineering, which have been recognized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He has served as a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority Regional Energy Resource Council, chair of the education division of AIChE and director of the Mississippi State University Energy Institute.

Keith spent 11 years on the faculty at Michigan Technological University, being recommended for full professor status shortly before leaving for the Magnolia State. He holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Akron and the University of Notre Dame, respectively.

Named as part of an endowment from alumnus James Worth Bagley, the Bagley College of Engineering is Mississippi State’s second largest college following a record-setting enrollment in the fall of 2014.

Through its eight academic departments, the college offers 11 undergraduate and 22 graduate degree programs including a recently introduced bachelor’s in petroleum engineering and online graduate programs that are ranked 20th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

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