Humanities and Sciences dean to take position at Iowa

Fadel Allassan, News Editor

The dean of the university’s largest college is leaving after more than two years on the job.

Montserrat Fuentes, who heads the College of Humanities and Sciences, accepted a position at the University of Iowa, the university announced last week. She will serve as the midwestern school’s executive vice president and provost beginning June 28.

Fuentes came to the university for her current position in 2016. She joined from North Carolina State University, where she served as head of the Department of Statistics and a statistics professor for 18 years. She was also the university’s James M. Goodnight Distinguished Professor of Statistics.

Fuentes previously served as center director for the Research Network for Statistical Methods for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, a multi-school research collaborative based at the University of Washington funded by the National Science Foundation. Fuentes is also a visiting scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Atmospheric Modeling Division.

She has a dual bachelor’s degree in mathematics and music from the University of Valladolid in Spain and a doctorate in statistics from the University of Chicago.

“Although this is a loss for the university as a whole and the college in particular, it is a tremendous opportunity for Dean Fuentes and is indicative of the stellar quality of our leadership and the recognition of VCU on a national stage,” Gail Hackett, VCU provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

The CHS has 450 full-time faculty members and approximately 14,000 students, comprising 60 percent of undergraduates. According to CHS’ website, 25 percent of all VCU graduates hail from the college. It has awarded 2,826 degrees.

Fuentes is the third CHS dean since 2015. She replaced Alison Baski, who served on an interim basis after Jim Coleman left the position in the summer of 2015.

The university will name an interim dean in the coming weeks as it conducts a search for a permanent replacement. Fuentes will continue to act in her current capacity until the end of the semester.

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