Ken Peach Joins OIST as Interim Dean for Faculty Affairs

Dr. Peach, an experienced and very engaged member of the OIST Board of Councilors, accepted the opportunity to become Interim Dean of Faculty Affairs.

Dr. Ken Peach has a default setting of answering “yes” to a good opportunity; that is how he became OIST Interim Dean for Faculty Affairs.  When President Dorfan told him about the position, Dr. Peach, an experienced and very engaged member of the OIST Board of Councilors, quickly accepted the opportunity to work in such an exciting, international setting.  As Interim Dean for Faculty Affairs, he will be responsible for all non-budgetary aspects of faculty administration.  His responsibilities include assisting with the administration of the Faculty Assembly and the Faculty Council, organizing and supporting the recruitment of new faculty, conducting the cyclical review of the scientific programs of the existing faculty, and communication with other university offices and committees to facilitate the smooth operation of the University.

Dr. Peach has a research and administrative career that began at the University of Edinburgh with Bachelor’s and Ph.D. degrees in Physics.  Following a very successful career as a full-time academic and researcher at the University of Edinburgh, he served as Deputy Leader of the Experimental Physics division at CERN for three years after which he was, for eight years, the Director of Particle Physics at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. 

When he was about to retire, he was persuaded to join Oxford University to become Director of the newly formed John Adams Institute for Accelerator Science to create an internationally competitive accelerator science center. While he was at Oxford, he also created the Particle Therapy Cancer Research Institute at the University of Oxford, and became its co-Director.

Retiring for a second time, Dr. Peach encountered yet another good opportunity, this time at OIST.   Dr. Peach is bringing what is clearly extensive expertise in academia, front-line research, research administration and the development of new and innovative research programs.  He’s enthusiastic about coming to OIST.  He says, “the ethos is great, the aims are noble, and it’s a challenge.”  He was also drawn to the multi-cultural aspect of OIST.  He has worked in a multi-national setting for most of his career, and he sees similarities between OIST and other international research institutions.  “You gain a tremendous amount by understanding other cultures, how they do things; it’s not better or worse than your own culture, it’s just different. It’s very exciting.” 

By: Kathleen Estes

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