University News

Chemistry professor will be new Grad School dean

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peter Weber, professor and chair of the chemistry department, will replace Sheila Bonde as dean of the Graduate School beginning July 1, according to a Wednesday University press release.

Bonde, whose five-year contract as graduate school dean terminates at the end of June, plans to return to full-time teaching and research, Vice President for Public Affairs and University Relations Marisa Quinn wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.

“I am honored to be asked to serve in this manner,” said Weber, who was chosen by a committee within the Grad School.

Weber has taught chemistry at Brown since 1989 and served as department chair since 2005. As chair, he hired over half of the department’s present faculty and oversaw growth in graduate student enrollment, according to the press release.

Weber studies “chemical reactions on ultrafast time scales,” according to the press release. His promotion of collaborative research on energy has helped strengthen Brown’s reputation for scholarship in this field, according to the press release. He has taught introductory chemistry classes as well as quantum mechanics, and currently teaches a first-year seminar on energy.

Weber is vice chair of the Human Resource Advisory Board and serves on the advisory board for the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation. He is also president of Ryon Technologies Inc., a local company he cofounded, according to the press release.

The Plan for Academic Enrichment’s push to improve graduate education has brought the Grad School’s mission into focus. For his part, Weber said he hopes to “move graduate education forward, fill it with meaning and life and importance and make it relevant to society.”

In his capacity as senior academic officer of the Grad School, Weber will also serve as a member of the president’s cabinet, according to the press release.

Weber is “looking forward” to collaborating with Bonde over the next couple of months, he said.

“There will be a long learning process,” he added.

— With additional reporting by Sarah Mancone

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