MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Chemistry professor Greg Van Patten has been selected to be interim dean for the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University by Provost Mark Byrnes, who made the announcement Thursday, July 1.
Van Patten, 51, spent nine years as chair of the Department of Chemistry and will now lead the college during the university’s national search for a new permanent dean. From a list of nominees, Byrnes chose Van Patten to replace Bud Fischer, who championed the new Science Building that opened in 2014 and will soon become Western Kentucky University’s provost.
“Greg has done a fine job leading a large and complicated department and has also chaired the (43-member) Chairs Council. I have great confidence in his ability to do this job,” Byrnes said.
Along with chemistry, the college includes aerospace, agriculture, biology, computer science, concrete and construction management, engineering technology, geosciences, mathematical sciences, military science and physics and astronomy.
“I’m excited about it (the opportunity),” Van Patten said of the one-year appointment. “Now, I will have a wider focus. I’ll be looking at different things and how all these fit together — for the rest of the university, community and state. In recent weeks, I’ve been adjusting my thinking that way.”
“My goals for the coming year are really to maintain and continue our momentum started by Dean Fischer,” Van Patten added. “I want to make sure our students continue to reach their goals with career placement or graduate and professional schools. I want to continue building our research output and I want to make sure people around the state — our state leaders, our alumni and friends, our teachers and counselors and prospective students — are all aware of the great things happening here at MTSU.”