Colorado State University officials today announced that Sandra Woods, a proven and respected administrator, educator and researcher, will serve as interim dean of the College of Engineering while a national search is conducted to permanently fill the position. Woods, head of the Department of Civil Engineering and interim vice provost for special projects, will begin her new post July 1.
"Dr. Woods is an excellent leader who is clearly dedicated to the university and devoted to improving the College of Engineering," said Anthony Frank, senior vice president and interim provost. "I am confident that Sandy’s dedication and experience will serve the college well during this time of transition."
Colorado State recently conducted an engineering dean search, but based on feedback from the process, university officials decided not to offer the permanent position at the present time. Frank will appoint a new search committee over the summer and re-advertise the position in the fall.
"Leadership searches are never simple, and my thanks go out to the search committee for doing an excellent job of representing Colorado State and the College of Engineering, and to everyone who provided input to this important process," said Frank. "On behalf of the university, I also want to thank Steve Abt for the excellent transitional leadership he has provided the college over the past year."
Woods joined Colorado State in 2001 as professor and head of civil engineering, and has additionally been serving as interim vice provost since February 2004 as well as providing interim leadership in the Office of International Programs since July 2004. Woods serves on the Council of Deans, Diversity Coordinating Council, Commission on Women and Gender Equity and the College of Engineering Executive Committee at Colorado State.
Woods came to Colorado State from Oregon State University, where she was an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. During her 16 years at Oregon State, Woods also served as director of the Minority Academic Institution Program at the Western Region Hazardous Substance Research Center, interim dean of Distance and Continuing Education, and faculty associate to the provost.
Woods earned her bachelor’s in civil engineering from Michigan State University in 1976, her master’s in civil engineering from the University of Washington in 1980 and her doctoral in civil engineering from the University of Washington in 1985. Woods’ area of research specialization is bioremediation of chlorinated organic compounds.
Woods serves on the External Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science for the University of Central Florida and on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers Department Heads. She has previously served on the Governor’s Task Force for the Oregon State of the Environment Report as well as on the Board of Directors for the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors and the Oregon Water Resources Research Institute. Woods is also actively involved in a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, Association of Environmental Engineering Professors, and Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network.
Outside of higher education, Woods has worked as a consultant for General Electric and as a civil engineer for a Olympic Associates in Seattle, Wash.; Giffels Associates in Southfield, Mich.; and G.J. McLravy and Sons in Lansing, Mich.
Among her many honors and awards, Woods received the College of Engineering Loyd Carter Award for Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching, the Beaver Champion Award from the president of Oregon State for leadership, the Association of Women in Science Fellow for the Oregon chapter and the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator in Engineering award.