An Indian-American theoretical physicist with interests in soft matter and statistical physics has been named the dean of a top college in the US state of Kansas. Amit Chakrabarti’s appointment as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences by the Kansas State University was announced on April 14 after a national search, a statement by the university said. Since February 2016, Chakrabarti, 57, has served as the interim dean of the university’s largest college with 24 departments, and a broad array of majors, secondary majors and minors spanning many disciplines. He succeeds Peter Dorhout, who is now vice president for research at the university. Prior to the interim position, Chakrabarti was the head of the department of physics and the William and Joan Porter chair in physics.
“I am excited to welcome Dr Chakrabarti as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” said April Mason, provost and senior vice president. “He has shown remarkable leadership and valuable collaborative skills during his tenure at Kansas State University.” As dean, Chakrabarti will be the college’s chief academic and administrative officer. “With the college’s talented faculty and amazing students, we can make more opportunities available to K- Staters in research and education in the arts and sciences,” Chakrabarti said. “I am honoured to serve in this role to continue the college’s success in research, scholarship and diversity.”
Chakrabarti became head of the physics department in 2011, where he led a 30-faculty member team. He was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head in 2016. He has worked on diverse soft-matter systems, including liquid mixtures, polymers, liquid crystals, aerosols, colloids, nano-particles and most recently, self-assembly of proteins. His individual and collaborative research projects have received extramural funding from agencies such as NASA and the National Science Foundation. Chakrabarti has a doctorate in physics from the University of Minnesota, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in physics from the University of Calcutta, India. He joined K-State in 1990 and was named a full professor in 2000.