Drexel University has named Yi Deng, PhD, dean of its College of Computing & Informatics. Deng comes to Drexel after a seven-year tenure as dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte where his leadership contributed to dramatic growth in enrollment and research funding. Deng takes the helm of one of the nation’s oldest recognized institutions of computing and informatics studies, whose programs have consistently ranked among the best in preparing students for jobs in these rapidly expanding fields.
“In welcoming Dr. Deng to this leadership role in the College of Computing & Informatics, we are ensuring that a College, already on a rising trajectory, continues on its path of success with a shared vision to address the nation’s fastest growing job sector,” said Drexel Provost M. Brian Blake, PhD. “His record of commitment to building innovative programs, growing the research enterprise and fostering collaboration aligns him perfectly to guide our College forward on all of these fronts.”
During Deng’s tenure at UNC Charlotte, the College of Computing and Informatics launched seven new interdisciplinary bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs and established an international educational partnership with China. The College saw its undergraduate enrollment double to 1,480 and its graduate enrollment increase by140 percent to 870 students — making UNC Charlotte’s one of the largest computing and informatics programs in the nation.
Research funding at UNC Charlotte also increased under Deng’s leadership with extramural and partnership programs nearly tripling from $5 million when he started in 2009 to $14.8 million most recently. This was accompanied by improvements in research quality, productivity and a sustained increase in the doctoral graduation rate.
He brings with him an accomplished background in higher education, building on experience as a professor and dean at both Florida International University and his most recent post at UNC Charlotte. Part of Deng’s success as a leader comes from his time as a researcher and teacher. While serving in his academic posts at the University of Ottawa, FIU, the University of Texas at Dallas and UNC Charlotte, he authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings and was awarded more than $21 million in research grants as a principal or co-principal investigator.
Deng’s vision has led to the creation of the Latin American (LA Grid) Consortium, the Consortium of Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) — whose partners include leading institutions and research centers in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, France, China, India and Japan — and UNC Charlotte’s Women-in-Computing Initiative. He currently serves on the board of directors of the North Carolina Technology Association.
“Dr. Deng’s ability to build partnerships across the university, in the community and around the world will continue to establish Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics as a leader in inclusive education, interdisciplinary collaboration, translational research and experiential learning,” Blake said.
Deng will assume his new role in September, becoming just the 11th person to lead the esteemed College — whose roots date back to the founding of Drexel University.