Dr. Robert W. Schwartz, professor and associate chair of materials science and engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, will become vice provost of academic affairs for the university effective June 18.
The position was created as part of an administrative restructuring that eliminated the university’s four main academic units: the School of Engineering, School of Management and Information Systems, School of Materials, Energy and Earth Resources, and College of Arts and Sciences.
As vice provost for academic affairs, Schwartz will oversee several academic support functions currently provided by the deans’ offices. He will also coordinate new degree program development, promotion and tenure, new-faculty mentoring, program reviews, and budget management and strategic planning efforts.
“Dr. Schwartz will play a crucial role for our campus as we transition into a new administrative model,” says Dr. Warren K. Wray, UMR’s provost. “As we move to a zero-schools model, Dr. Schwartz will be responsible for handling many of the support activities previously provided by the academic deans and their staff.”
Schwartz will report to Wray. The new administrative structure will take effect July 1.
A member of the UMR faculty since 2002, Schwartz received his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in science education and a master’s degree in chemistry from North Carolina State University.
Prior to joining UMR, Schwartz was a member of the ceramic engineering faculty at Clemson University, where he was assistant professor from 1997-2000 and associate professor from 2000-2002. Previously, he was an advanced research and development engineer for B.F. Goodrich from 1980-1984 and, upon completion of his Ph.D., a senior member of the technical staff for Sandia National Laboratories’ Electronic Ceramics Department.
At UMR, Schwartz served as president of the Academic Council from September 2005 to September 2006. He also served as president-elect, secretary and parliamentarian of the Academic Council and currently chairs the Academic Council’s Rules, Procedure and Agenda Committee. Schwartz also served as UMR’s representative to the University of Missouri’s Intercampus Faculty Council from August 2004 to August 2007.
Recognized for his teaching excellence, Schwartz received UMR’s Faculty Excellence Award in 2004 and 2006, the Dean’s Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence in 2004 and 2005, and the Ceramic Engineering Outstanding Professor Award in 2004.
A member of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS), Schwartz was named an ACerS fellow in 2006. His other professional memberships include the Materials Research Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Educators and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Schwartz’s technical interests include the design of high-performance actuator devices, dielectric and ferroelectric materials, ceramic thin films and functional materials.