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Engineering Dean Jim Plummer to step down after this year

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Jim Plummer M.S. ’67 Ph.D ’71, dean of the School of Engineering, will step down at the end of this year after serving as dean for 15 years, according to a press release.

“I have been privileged to serve as dean and to work with some of the best faculty, staff and students in the world, but it is time for me and the School of Engineering to move on,” Plummer said. “Change is good. It is good for people and it is good for institutions.”

Plummer is the longest-serving dean of the school to date.

At the end of this year, Plummer will begin a yearlong sabbatical, after which he will return to research as a professor in the Electrical Engineering department.

“Jim Plummer’s leadership has changed the character of Stanford’s graduate and undergraduate engineering education, which has become known internationally for its hands-on, creative, multidisciplinary approach,” said Provost John Etchemendy Ph.D. ’82. “The soaring numbers of students and the accomplishments of our engineering alumni are proof of that success.”

Since being appointed as dean in 1999, Plummer has overseen upgrades to the school’s physical plant, including the Science and Engineering Quad slated for completion in 2014. During his tenure, the percentage of undergraduates pursuing a degree in engineering has grown from 20 percent to nearly 35 percent.

“Students come to Stanford because they want to change the world, and more of them are deciding that engineering provides the means to do this,” Plummer said.

Etchemendy will appoint a search committee this fall to replace Plummer.