Provost John Aber has announced the appointment of Ali Rafieymehr as the new dean of the university’s campus in Manchester. As the chief academic and administrative officer, Rafieymehr will be responsible for promoting academic excellence and community engagement with business and community organizations in the greater Manchester area.
Aber noted that Rafieymehr is well-prepared "to take the campus to the next level. He brings the combination of academic and industry experience that will guide the future of the University’s urban campus.” On July 1 Rafieymehr will assume the position, which is currently held by interim Dean Sally Ward.
“The university’s Manchester campus is an integral part of the larger institution and we are very pleased to welcome a new dean with the background and entrepreneurial credentials needed to continue to advance our efforts around workforce needs and economic development,” said President Mark Huddleston. “Dr. Rafieymehr has 20 years of experience with the computer industry in the Merrimack Valley, as well as several years of academic administrative experience in innovative settings, and will be able to hit the ground running as we continue to grow our partnerships with businesses in the area.”
Rafieymehr's experience includes a 20-year career as a software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation and Avici Systems. In his second career in higher education, he has served as a professor, department director, and dean. His commitment to innovation, student achievement, and community engagement are evident in many initiatives and awards. He has played a leadership role in developing student scholarships and designed the Kids in Technology and Science (KITS) program to spark interest in science and technology among female middle school and college students.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Sally Ward, the faculty and staff at UNH Manchester have created an exciting teaching and learning environment to help our students be successful lifelong learners," said Rafieymehr. "It is a great privilege to be asked to lead the University of New Hampshire Manchester and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and students and partnering with businesses and organizations in the greater Manchester area. Together, we can make the greater Manchester area a growth and learning center for our students and business partners.”
Bill Norton, the principle of Norton Asset Management and the UNH Manchester's advisory board representative to the dean search committee, agreed noting that Rafieymehr "is extremely well versed in technology and its interface with college teaching and he will bring great energy to the dean’s office. I, along with the advisory board, look forward to working closely with Dean Rafieymehr on advancing many initiatives at UNH Manchester.”
For the last four years Rafieymehr has served as dean of the division of information technology and sciences at Champlain College in Vermont. His previous academic experience includes positions as department chair and associate professor of computer science and information technology at Western New England University, and teaching positions at St. Anselm College, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Merrimack College.
He earned a Ph.D. in computer science and a Master of Science in computer engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell and his Bachelor of Science in mathematics at the College of Mathematics and Economic Management in Iran.
The search committee, co-chaired by Ken Fuld, dean of UNH's College of Liberal Arts, and Anthony Tenczar, associate professor and communication arts program coordinator at UNH Manchester, began its work last fall and reviewed a large pool of candidates. The committee recognized the importance of Rafieymehr's unique combination of academic, administrative, and industry experience to lead the campus in the future.