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Indian-origin prof named dean of Princeton University school

Indian-origin prof named dean of Princeton Varsity

An Indian-American has been appointed as the dean of the prestigious Princeton University Graduate School, becoming the latest addition to a long list of Indian-origin academicians assuming leadership roles at renowned global universities.

Sanjeev Kulkarni, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Keller Center, has been appointed as the next dean of the Princeton University Graduate School with effect from March 31, the Princeton University said in a statement.

His appointment was recommended by Princeton President Christopher L Eisgruber and approved by the Board of Trustees at their January 25 meeting, the statement said. He succeeds William Russel, who has served as dean since 2002 and who announced in September that he would step down this year.

"Sanjeev Kulkarni will be a spectacular dean for Princeton's Graduate School," Eisgruber was quoted as saying.

"Sanj has a well-deserved reputation for excellence as an interdisciplinary scholar, a versatile administrator and a constructive colleague...I have no doubt that Sanj is the right person to build upon Bill Russel's many fine accomplishments as dean of the Graduate School," he said.

A search committee composed of faculty members and graduate students proposed the selection of Kulkarni, who joined the Princeton faculty in 1991. Kulkarni said he appreciates the chance to serve the University and have an impact in a new role.

"Through more than 20 years as a faculty member and administrator, I have developed a very deep appreciation for Princeton," Kulkarni said.

"It is an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the University in this capacity. I look forward to working with President Eisgruber, Provost Lee, the trustees, and colleagues and students across campus to advance the mission of the Graduate School," he said.

Kulkarni, who also is an associated faculty member in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and in the Department of Philosophy, served as associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from 2003 to 2005.

He was the master of Butler College, an undergraduate residential college, from 2004 to 2012 and since 2011 has been the director of the Keller Center. The Graduate School enrolls about 2,600 students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees in 42 departments and programmes. Kulkarni joins a host of other Indian-Americans who occupy top posts at reputed academic institutions.

Indian-American professor Rakesh Khurana was last month appointed Dean of the prestigious Harvard College.

In 2010, Nitin Nohria became the first Indian-origin head of the top ranking Harvard business school. In the same year University of Chicago's Booth School of Business had named Stanford University professor Sunil Kumar as its Dean. Noted Indian-American academician Dipak Jain took over as Dean of INSEAD in March 2011.


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