Franz Josef Michael Rueckert, PhD, has been hired as the new Dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences. He will officially assume the role on Aug. 9.
“I am thrilled that Rueckert will be stepping into this position and look forward to working with him at this exciting time in Lees-McRae’s history,” Provost Alyson Gill said. “The depth of the leadership experience that he brings will be a great benefit to the School of Natural and Behavorial Sciences college and I know that he will be a wonderful colleague.”
Rueckert comes to Lees-McRae from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where he was the founding dean for the School of Sciences and Humanities. Prior to the school’s formation, Rueckert served as the chair of the Department of Sciences, where he oversaw the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics programs, the opening of new state-of-the-art lab spaces, and the development of the interdisciplinary Applied Sciences major.
Rueckert’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, a Bachelor of Science in Physics, and a Master of Science in Physics all from San Diego State University, and a doctorate in Physics from the University of Connecticut. In addition to his administrative and leadership experience, Rueckert has worked closely with students in both classroom and research settings.
“I’m beyond excited to be joining the community at Lees-McRae,” Rueckert said. “I’ve been so impressed by the great work being done in and out of the classroom. I can’t wait to meet everyone, learn more about your accomplishments, and help contribute to our continued success.”
As dean, Rueckert will work closely with the faculty in the School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences to fulfill the college’s mission of providing an experiential and practical education to students.