Ali Eskandarian Announces Resignation from Academic Leadership

Dean of College of Professional Studies and Virginia Science and Technology Campus to take sabbatical during spring semester.

Ali Eskandarian
January 03, 2018

Ali Eskandarian, who has served for nearly seven years as dean of the College of Professional Studies (CPS) and Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC), has announced his resignation from academic leadership, effective Jan. 31.  Dr. Eskandarian will start a sabbatical during the spring semester to focus on planning his future research and academic pursuits. During the spring term, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Provost Christopher J. Deering will serve as the interim dean.

“Entering the seventh year of my tenure serving GW in two distinct administrative positions simultaneously, each with heavy responsibilities of its own, I am gratified that both units are doing well and resting on solid foundations for future growth,” said Dr. Eskandarian. “Now is the right time to take a sabbatical from administration to focus on my own scientific research as well as other intellectual and professional interests. It is also the right time for the next generation to build on the significant successes of the past. I am indebted to all of my colleagues at GW—especially those in CPS and VSTC and my fellow deans, past and present—for their dedication and creativity in serving our students and alumni, and for their spirit of collegiality and collaboration within the university and in the region. It has been a special privilege to work alongside such dedicated colleagues and friends.”

Dr. Eskandarian has shepherded the growth of the College of Professional Studies into a unit that currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students through multiple credit-bearing master's degree programs, graduate certificates and undergraduate degree completion programs, plus hundreds more in non-credit leadership programs and boot camps. He has overseen a significant growth in enrollment at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, with a clear focus on the health and technology-related fields. He has also contributed to the launch of important research initiatives, such as the Computational Biology Institute and the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute at VSTC.

“Ali has been critical in building the College of Professional Studies and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus. Key to this success has been the agility to develop new programs and new ways of offering programs that are responsive to the changing needs of students.  Importantly, these efforts have also expanded access to higher education for non-traditional students through bachelor degree completion and specialized master’s degree programs and through non-credit bearing programs that are designed to meet the needs of both students and institutions that partner with the school,” said GW Provost Forrest Maltzman.

Dr. Eskandarian, a theoretical physicist, began his career at GW in 2002 as an associate dean and one of the founding members of the team that launched CPS, where he led the design and development of several innovative certificates and master’s degree programs. He then served as the senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and research. In addition to his role as dean, he also holds faculty appointments as professor in the Department of Physics and in CPS.

Dr. Eskandarian previously held the distinguished Oliver professorship and the title of Virginia eminent scholar in the Integrated Science and Technology and Computer Science Departments at the James Madison University.

He was also the director for the “Reusable Launch Vehicles: Technology Development and Test Program” study at the National Research Council, which led to important recommendations regarding the future technological options and the nation’s space policy, and served as an adviser to the Army Research Laboratory’s Technology Assessment Board.

Dr. Eskandarian’s research interests at George Washington have been in astrophysics and in quantum computing/information. He has been a founding member of both groups and has served as co–director of the Center for Quantum Computing, Information, Logic, and Topology.

Dr. Eskandarian holds a B.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics, both from the George Washington University.

Prior to becoming the senior associate dean in the College of Professional Studies, Dr. Deering served as a department chair and as an associate dean in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. “I very much appreciate Chris once again stepping up the plate and taking on an important administrative role,” said Dr. Maltzman.