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Sacha Kopp Appointed Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University
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Dr. Sacha Kopp

STONY BROOK, NY, June 18, 2014 – After a competitive national search, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dennis N. Assanis has announced that Dr. Sacha Kopp, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education of the College of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, has been selected to serve as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook University, effective August 11, 2014.

"I am truly pleased that Stony Brook was able to attract Dr. Sacha Kopp, a talented and innovative thought leader, to be the next Dean of our College of Arts and Sciences," said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. "I am confident that his energy, vision and leadership will help the school to further its trajectory of excellence in education, scholarship, and service to our students and the broader community."

"Dr. Kopp's eloquent vision, coupled with his creative thinking and passion for liberal arts education, is truly energizing and refreshing," said Provost Dennis Assanis. "His clear ideas and intellectual power have impressed me from the outset. I am genuinely excited about working closely together to drive the College of Arts and Sciences to new heights. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the search committee and the campus community for their active engagement in the search process."

Dr. Kopp completed his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees at the University of Chicago and specializes in the physics of elementary particles. His work included study of the particle responsible for the weak nuclear force and participation in an experiment that discovered the top quark. As a postdoctoral scholar he played a lead role in the design and construction of an instrument installed at the Cornell accelerator used by 20 universities and 400 scientists to study the properties of bottom and charm quarks. He later contributed to the construction of a particle beam facility used to definitively demonstrate that the elementary particle known as the neutrino has mass and contributes to the gravitational matter in the universe. He has authored over 200 scholarly articles.

Dr. Kopp has been on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin since 2000. He has served as the Associate Chair for the Department of Physics and subsequently as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education of the College of Natural Sciences. As Associate Dean, he oversaw undergraduate affairs, and also assisted the Dean with instructional and student services budget management and in developing a strategic plan for the college. He created a new multidisciplinary degree, the Bachelor of Science and Arts, and a new freshman onboarding program, CNS101. He led the college in the use of online instructional tools, especially in the areas of pre-matriculation readiness, remediation and placement testing, and in the area of active engagement teaching pedagogies. He worked closely with alumni and the local business community to increase participation in on-campus mentoring of students, and with the local K-12 districts toward the creation of inquiry-based science curricula for future teachers.

Dr. Kopp’s selection as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was made following a national search under the direction of co-chairs Perry Goldstein, Chair of Music, and Lorna Role, Chair of Neurobiology and Behavior, and with the participation of a dedicated search committee. The search process was assisted by the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

"Having served on several other upper level searches, I was particularly struck with the positive energy, verve and authentic collegiality that pervaded the search committee as well as the involvement and informed input of the campus community," said Lorna Role. Perry Goldstein added, "The enthusiasm expressed for Dr. Kopp by all of the participating constituencies suggests that a spirit of cooperation will prevail upon his arrival. We believe that Dr. Kopp is a dynamic leader under whose guidance the College of Arts and Sciences will thrive, and are excited to welcome him and his family here in August.”

“I am honored to join the faculty at Stony Brook University and to serve as the next Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences," said Sacha Kopp. "The College sits at the heart of the university, all the core disciplines that represent a liberal education. Stony Brook offers great intellectual and creative possibilities with nearby Brookhaven National Laboratory and the arts, economic, and tech communities of New York. I look forward to innovative partnerships with the other colleges of the university, and I am excited to work with Provost Assanis to raise the College to new levels of excellence. As dean, I hope to join the faculty, student body, alumni, community, and friends of the College in creating a vision for Arts and Sciences that supports the next generation of thinkers and leaders, that contributes new knowledge and original creativity, and that delivers impact to the community and the state that we serve."

Dr. Kopp will relocate to Long Island this summer with his wife Gretchen and their school-age children Eleanor and Elias.