Dr. Kim Needy Appointed Dean of Graduate School and International Education
Needy becomes first woman to lead school in its 87-year history.
Kim LaScola Needy, a national leader in the field of industrial engineering, has been appointed dean of the Graduate School and International Education at the University of Arkansas.
Needy is the first woman appointed to lead the school since it was founded in 1927. She had been serving as interim director of the Graduate School and International Education since April after spending nearly six years as head of the Department of Industrial Engineering in the University of Arkansas’ College of Engineering.
“I am thrilled to be chosen as the next leader of the Graduate School and International Education and to work alongside such a talented group of people,” Needy said. “The Graduate School and International Education is doing tremendous things on campus, including increasing the numbers of graduate students and international students. Becoming the first woman to lead these efforts is a special honor.”
Needy, who holds the Twenty-First Century Professorship in Engineering, is a respected scholar in her field, with more than 132 publications. She co-authored the 2014 book Fundamentals of Engineering Economic Analysis with four colleagues, including John A. White, chancellor emeritus of the University of Arkansas.
Sharon Gaber, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said, “I am pleased that Kim Needy agreed to take on this important leadership position. Her experience and ability to move programs forward will be helpful to the Graduate School and International Education in their current period of growth.”
Needy has ample experience working with graduate students. The department of industrial engineering has the largest graduate program on campus — the Master of Science in Operations Management — and she has also served on the Dean of the Graduate School and International Education’s advisory committee.
Needy has held various leadership roles in professional societies. She is the current past-president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. As president of the 15,000-member organization in 2013, she led its board of trustees in the development of a new five-year strategic plan.
She has served on the board of directors of the American Society for Engineering Management since 2000, including as its president from 2008-2009. Needy was recently elected a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.
Needy participated in the Southeastern Conference University Academic Leadership Development Program in 2010-2011.
Prior to her work at the University of Arkansas she was at the University of Pittsburgh. She has also worked in industry at the Boeing Company and PPG Industries.
Needy earned a doctorate in industrial engineering from Wichita State University and holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
She served as interim dean of the Graduate School and International Education after the school’s former dean, Todd Shields, was named dean of Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences in March. She becomes the eighth dean in the school’s history.
The Graduate School and International Education assists the University of Arkansas in excelling at research, teaching, training and service while fostering student success. It supports the strategic goals of the university to continue as an institution that recruits, retains and graduates high-caliber students; has a high level of research activity, and facilitates intercultural and international experiences.
Release date: 7/28/2014