The University of Toledo Board of Trustees today appointed its Dean of the College of Engineering as interim president to replace outgoing President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs.
Nagi Naganathan, 58, has been at UT since 1986, first as a professor and later as chairman of the department of mechanical, industrial, and manufacturing engineering. He was named interim dean of the college in 2000, and was permanently appointed to the position in 2003.
He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Madras in India, a master's degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., and a doctorate from Oklahoma State University. All three degrees are in mechanical engineering.
“As interim president, I will do my very best to make sure that our University remains committed to excellence in academics, research, patient care, and community engagement through a synergistic engagement of our expertise in all of our campuses,” Mr. Naganathan said in a statement released by the university.
“We are an academic institution and we will be defined by the educational and research excellence of our faculty and the resulting success of our students. We must maintain and grow our commitment to a strong educational foundation. Whether a student is in a professional school or studies humanities, social sciences and the arts, critical thinking and communications skills must be part of every graduate’s education.”
The university announced on Friday that Dr. Jacobs would leave his position June 30, after previously announcing in March that he would step down effective June 30, 2015, a year before his contract ends.
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD: Copy of agreement between UT Board of Trustees and Dr. Jacobs
Dr. Jacobs has declined to comment on his leaving the position. The university framed the news around Dr. Jacobs’ appointment to a distinguished fellowship for the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, and said his early departure will be called a sabbatical leave.
Dr. Jacobs will return as a professor of surgery in 2015, and likely will have office space at UT and administrative support while on sabbatical. He will be paid by UT while on sabbatical.
A search for Dr. Jacobs’ permanent replacement is already under way, with search firm Witt/Kieffer of Oak Brook, Ill., leading the effort.