Beginning April 1, OIST Graduate School and Faculty Affairs Office are both under new leadership. Professor Thomas Busch now serves as Dean of the Graduate School and Professor Evan Economo serves as Dean of Faculty Affairs.
Professor Busch has been a faculty member and head of the Quantum Systems Unit at OIST since 2011. In addition to his research and service in many committees at OIST, his experience in student affairs stems from the supervision of 25 PhD students over the course of his career, as well as more than 80 rotation and intern students over the past decade. He also helped establish the successful annual summer school Coherent Quantum Dynamics at OIST. In 2019, he was presented the inaugural OIST Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award, which recognizes the paramount role that inclusive mentoring plays in the professional development and career advancement of OIST students, postdoctoral scholars, and research staff, and the lifelong impact of excellent mentors.
At OIST, the Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for providing services and programs that support the full cycle of attending the Graduate School at OIST Graduate University. Thus, the Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for all elements of planning and support that start with admission and end with graduation and the initial post-graduate placement. The Dean of the Graduate School is responsible for all aspects of the graduate school curriculum including the assignment of faculty to teach the graduate courses. Professor Busch says, “The students are one of the most important parts of OIST and a lot of exciting developments are going on in the Graduate School right now. I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the Graduate School team and to help students as they pursue their degrees at OIST.”
Professor Economo has been an OIST faculty member and head of the Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit since 2012. He has led a productive research program at OIST, authoring well over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and one book in the fields of biodiversity, ecology, and evolutionary biology. In addition, he has mentored a large number of students, researchers, and staff in his unit. Professor Economo has also served in numerous other capacities at OIST over the years, including on the Faculty Council, Perspective Council, Appointments and Promotions Committee, the GEDI (Gender Equality Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee, the Conference and Workshop Committee, and the Ombuds Office. In 2021-2022 he was the Mary I. Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
At OIST, the Dean of Faculty Affairs is responsible for academic and scholarly management in coordination with other Deans and the Provost. The Faculty Affairs Office administers the recruitment, appointment, and evaluation of all faculty and research unit personnel, including tenure and promotions and external unit reviews. The DFA is also responsible for the operation of University Library, the Center for Professional Development and Inclusive Excellence (C-Hub), and chairs the Space Allocation Committee. Professor Economo says, “Helping to build this exciting startup university over the past decade has been a great adventure, and I am eager to serve the OIST community in this new role.”