Jeff Thompson, a longtime physics professor and current associate dean of the College of Science, has been named interim dean of the college, Provost John Frederick announced Thursday.
Thompson, 46, will take the helm of the College of Science on July 1, when the current dean, David Westfall, steps down. Westfall announced in March following a distinguished career of more than 25 years at the University that he would be retiring.
"I'm looking forward to continuing the values and traditions that Dave Westfall set for our college," Thompson said.
"I'm very appreciative of the time I worked with him. My goals will be to continue to value the great work of our quality students, faculty and staff and to continue push us to improve in all areas."
"I'm very happy for Jeff," Westfall said. "He's been a tireless advocate for our college on so many different fronts, and has played an integral part in the rapid growth, success and vision for the future of our college."
"I have no doubt he will do an outstanding job as interim dean."
Thompson, who has been at Nevada since 1991, was formerly chairman of the Department of Physics. With the creation of the College of Science, Thompson was named associate dean in early 2004.
Thompson has taken a lead role in curricular and student issues, including the planning, development, coordination and implementation of the college's undergraduate and graduate programs.
He has also been at the forefront of the college's efforts in student advocacy, recruitment and retention, helping the college implement innovative programming such as the Women in Science and Engineering program, which will be launched in the fall.
Thompson received his bachelor of science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Tennessee. He did post-doctoral work at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He served as chair of the physics department at the University from 2001-2004.
His research is in the area of atomic and molecular physics and he continues to be active in the field. His students have been placed in a number of prestigious national internship and fellowship programs over the past decade.