Theodosios Alexander named as Dean of Parks College

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Saint Louis University has named Theodosios Alexander as the dean of Parks College of Engineering Aviation and Technology.

Alexander’s appointment concludes the college’s two-year search for a permanent dean. Krishnaswamy Ravindra, now the college’s associate dean, has served as Parks interim dean since 2010 following Manoj Patankar’s appointment as the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The process of selecting a new dean involved a 10 to 12 person committee made up of students, alumni, faculty and staff.

“All the university, past and present, weighed in,” Ravindra said.

Alexander was chosen from a pool of more than 30 applications. Of those applicants, three or four were brought to the campus to be interviewed by the committee, and the top two candidates were chosen.

There was also a student-led interview in which Parks students were able to speak personally with Alexander and voice their worries. Patankar had the final say on the appointment of the new dean.

“When interviewed by Parks students, many hot topics were posed to Dr. Alexander,” said Parks College Senator Parry Draper. “Dr. Alexander responded to each issue with pragmatic solutions and an eagerness to tackle each individual issue with the help of students, faculty and alumni.”

Some of the major concerns of Parks students included improving relationships with industry corporations, maintaining undergraduate research opportunities, balancing the various needs of the college’s disciplines and improving the ranking of Parks College.

“I also inquired about how the candidate sees the role of students’ voices in the dean position, and Dr. Alexander welcomed the idea of collaboration with students,” Draper said.

Alexander was also noted as being very personable and relatable to the student body.

According to Draper he even pointed out the bags under his eyes, which he attributed to staying up well past midnight as he was busy wrapping up a proposal, which many college students are undoubtedly familiar with.

Alexander is coming to SLU from Queen Mary University of London, England, where he served as chair and a professor of energy engineering since 2006. However he is not new to the St. Louis area, having served as a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Washington University from 1988 to 2001.

Alexander graduated in 1981 with a B.S. in Marine Engineering from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He went on to obtain three Master of Science degrees and a Doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

His recent research is focused on engine design and energy efficiency.  He also publishes under the surname Korakianitis. Alexander decided to change his legal name in the summer of 2001 due to people having issues saying his born name.

In an August press release from Parks College, Alexander is quoted saying he wants to “advance our reputation as an institution where research-led education provides sought-after and marketable degrees to our graduates.”

One of Ravindra’s focuses as interim dean was to foster an intercollegiate vision of Parks College, working with students and faculty from other disciplines to strengthen their program. He hopes to see Parks continue to build and nurture its relationship with other colleges under Alexander’s lead.

“The students from Parks College present for the interview put their faith in Dr. Alexander when they unanimously recommended him to the administration,” said Draper, who is greatly looking forward to working with Alexander. “Overall, he just fit the ticket.”

“All of Parks College is very excited to have him here,” Ravindra said.