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Finalists for OIT President Announced

Di Saunders, Cell: 971-219-6869; Office: 503-725-5714

Candidates will visit the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses between June 2-13

Note to Editors: Downloadable photos of the candidates and complete bios are available at www.oit.edu/president 

Portland, OR, May 28 – Two finalist candidates for the next president of the Oregon Institute of Technology were announced today by George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System. A third candidate may be announced next week.

Paul Kelly, chair of the search committee and a member of the State Board of Higher Education, forwarded the slate of finalists to the Chancellor. The finalists are: Dr. Christopher G. Maples, executive vice president for research at Desert Research Institute (Nevada); and Dr. Donald H. Sebastian, senior vice president for research and Development at New Jersey Institute of Technology and president of the NJIT Research Corporation.

"The search committee is very pleased with the slate of finalists, and excited to bring them to OIT next month,” said Kelly.  “Among them we see a wealth of experience in academia, in science and technology, in research, fundraising, and engagement with faculty and external constituencies. OIT has so many strengths to build upon and nurture, and the faculty, student and community involvement to take this institution to the next level,” said Kelly. “I look forward to the OIT community meeting the candidates, and for these strong finalists to discuss their vision for the campus in the next few weeks."

Once appointed, the new president will begin his leadership at OIT in the fall. The successful candidate will replace acting president David Woodall, who has served in this role since spring 2007 during the illness of former OIT president Dr. Martha Anne Dow, who succumbed to cancer last September. Dr. Woodall will return to his role as provost once the new president begins.

Christopher G. Maples has served as executive vice president for research at Desert Research Institute in Nevada (DRI) and the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) since 2006. He has also held other positions there since 2003, including Department of Defense EPSCoR program director for Nevada, interim Sponsored Projects compliance director, acting deputy director of Nevada EPSCoR and interim director of the sponsored projects office for NSHE, and vice president for research at DRI. During his tenure there, Dr. Maples has helped oversee an overall increase in research funding from approximately $26 million a year to approximately $38 million a year. In addition, DRI has hired nearly 60 post-doctoral and staff scientists and faculty members since Maples’ arrival.  Dr. Maples also initiated new review and evaluation criteria for the Nevada DOD EPSCoR program, which resulted in a total of approximately $3.4 million in funding for UNR and UNLV from 2005–2008.

Prior to this, Dr. Maples served as chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University from 1998 to 2003. He held several program director positions at the National Science Foundation from 1995 to 1998 in the following areas: Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education, Life in Extreme Environments, MarsRock Initiative, Earth Systems History, and Geology & Paleontology. From 1989 to 1992 he was with the Kansas Geological Survey, serving in the following roles: section chief of Geological Investigations, assistant, and then acting section chief of Petroleum Research, and COGEOMAP/STATEMAP coordinator. Other positions and appointments held by Dr. Maples have included faculty, adjunct, and teaching positions at Indiana University, University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Clemson University, and the University of Wisconsin. He has held scientist, curator and/or research positions at Indiana University, University of Kansas, Kansas Geological Survey, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Maples has served on numerous research review and evaluation panels and committees with the NSF and other organizations. He has also served on many boards and committees and received major awards and honors from some of these, including the American Geological Institute, the Society for Sedimentary Geology, and the Paleontological Society. Maples has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards during his career, and has been widely published, including books, journals, and other publications. Dr. Maples received his B.S. in Geology from West Georgia College, his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from Indiana University.

Donald H. Sebastian has been senior vice president for Research and Development at New Jersey Institute of Technology since 2004, and president of the NJIT Research Corporation since 2007. His work has included managing research administration and fostering academic research, state and federal relations, patent and licensing activities, oversight of one of the country’s largest business incubators, operation of the state's homeland security technology center, and supervision of NJIT’s commercially focused technology centers. During his tenure, total research expenditures grew from $41 million to almost $100 million in 2008. Sebastian has also served in other positions at NJIT since 1995, including vice president of R&D, vice president Technology Development, associate provost R&D, executive director of the Center for Manufacturing Systems, and professor. Other responsibilities at NJIT include Dr. Sebastian’s role in creating the Newark-based coalition for regenerative medicine research, as well as a statewide Homeland Security Technology Systems Center, reorganization and integration of university transportation research, development of child-safe handgun technologies, creation of the R&D office, implementation of a branding and visibility strategy, and development and execution of plans to grow and maintain separate machining, micro-electronics fabrication, and materials characterization facilities supporting researchers and commercial users.

Dr. Sebastian is currently founder and chief technology officer at Auxilia, Inc. Prior to his positions at NJIT, he held several positions at the Stevens Institute of Technology from 1978 to 1990, including professor, associate professor and assistant professor. He was head of Inf. and Comp. at the Polymer Processing Institute, Inc. from 1983 to 1990 at Stevens, and co-director and founder of the Design and Manufacturing Institute from 1990 to 1995, also at Stevens.

Dr. Sebastian has served on numerous boards, including currently with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, the Polymer Processing Institute, Inc., the Henry H. Kessler Foundation, the Newark Innovation Zone, and SMART (Strengthening the Mid-Atlantic Region for Tomorrow), among others. He has also been chair of the R&D Council of New Jersey, and founder and chair of the New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium. Sebastian has published numerous books, journal articles and other writings, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences. Dr. Sebastian received his B.E., M.E. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Pernsteiner said the finalists will visit the OIT Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses between June 2 and 13. Visits and forums with students, faculty, campus administration and community leaders will be included in the schedule for each candidate, with the public meeting schedule posted on the OIT website. The State Board of Higher Education will interview candidates after the campus visits are completed, and expects to make a decision on the next president of OIT once that process is concluded.

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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