Sep Eskandari, an alumnus and chair of the Academic Senate, has been named the interim associate vice president for Academic Planning and Faculty Affairs, effective Aug. 2.
His areas of oversight will include strategic planning, budgets, academic policies, and faculty procedures and policies. In addition, he will oversee the Faculty Center for Professional Development, eLearning and ROTC. He assumes the position after the retirement of Shanthi Srinivas.
Eskandari (’93, bachelor’s in chemistry; ’95, master’s in biological sciences) has served as a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences since 2000 and chaired the department from 2011 to 2015.
“Dr. Eskandari understands the culture and core academic values that we embrace, and he reflects the very best of our campus community, including transparent shared governance and a spirit of collaboration,” says Provost Sylvia A. Avla. “He has earned the highest respect of his peers, students and alumni, as evidenced by his recent Outstanding Teaching Award from the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association.”
He also serves on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, which has been tasked with evaluating the university’s polytechnic identity and the advantages it provides to students and graduates.
“It is a true honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve Cal Poly Pomona in this new role,” Eskandari said. “I am humbled that Provost Alva has extended this offer to me to follow on the heels of five years of outstanding performance by Dr. Shanthi Srinivas, for whom I have endless admiration and respect.
“It is with a heavy heart that I leave my current role as chair of the Academic Senate, but it is with excitement that I look forward to devoting my full focus and effort to faculty issues,” he added.
Eskandari’s research has been published in three dozen publications and he has been invited to speak at scientific conferences around the world. He has been awarded more than $3.2 million in research grants and also helped secure gifts totaling nearly $2 million to support student scholarships, student and faculty research and equipment.
For his commitment to the university, he received the 2016 Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award from the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association in April. In addition, he earned the 2011 CSUPERB Faculty Research Award, which honors a CSU professor who has demonstrated scientific achievement in the life sciences and biotechnology.
After Eskandari begins his new post, Julie Shen, the vice chair of the Academic Senate and business and computer science librarian in the University Library, will assume the role of chair until an election is held for a new chair of the Academic Senate.