Dr. Jinny Rhee - New COE Dean

Published April 23, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

It is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Jinny Rhee has accepted our offer to become the next dean of the College of the Engineering (COE). Please join me in welcoming her to campus when she starts on July 1.

dr jinny rhee headshot

Currently, Dr. Rhee is the Associate Dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at our sister campus SJSU. Under her leadership, she has established academic advising programs such as the Guided Pathways Advising and Block Scheduling, and expanded the MESA Engineering Program. These programs and others have contributed to marked improvements in retention and graduation rates. Innovative curriculum developed include the Cisco apprenticeship program with the Industrial Technology major in the area of computer networks and security, as well as the service-learning program Engineering Projects in Community Service @ SJSU. Dr. Rhee led successful ABET and ATMAE accreditation visits for 11 programs in 2017. 

In this role, Dr. Rhee successfully established strategic partnerships with industry leaders, alumni, and community partners. These external relationships have provided intellectual and financial resources for lab development, student scholarships, conference sponsorships, student success initiatives, and programming to promote diversity and inclusion. 

Prior to becoming the associate dean, Dr. Rhee was the Director of Assessment and Chair of the Program Planning Committee of the Academic Senate at SJSU. In these positions, she worked closely with the Associate Vice Presidents of Undergraduate Studies, Graduate and Extended Studies, Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics, as well as the Provost and Deputy Provost. She received promotion to full professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department in 2013. 

Dr. Rhee received her B.S. (1989), M.S. (1990), and Ph.D. (1995) degrees, all in mechanical engineering, from Stanford University. Her research interests include renewable energy, thermal management, and student success strategies, particularly for engineering and STEM majors.

I am excited to see how Dr. Rhee’s extensive experience of developing talents and ambitions in students will benefit our campus community. Her clear vision of creating a modern and diverse College of Engineering will provide invaluable industry and community connections for all students and faculty for years to come.

Dr. Rhee remarked, “I am beyond thrilled to be joining CSULB as the next dean of the College of Engineering. I look forward to collectively nurturing diverse and coveted graduates, promoting the transformative work of the faculty, and engaging our alumni and industry partners. While crises such as the global pandemic, climate change, and injustice create challenging times for society and higher education, it is also an exciting time for engineering and computing as we influence the future of healthcare, transportation, energy, infrastructure, and communications, among other areas.”

I want to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Tracy Maples for her excellent work as interim dean over the past year. She quickly stepped into the role and seamlessly provided excellent leadership and direction to the college. 

Lastly, I would like to thank the excellent work of the members of the search committee, ably chaired by Dr. Praveen Shankar. Much appreciation also goes to the committee, campus community as well as COE for their commitment to thrive in this virtual environment. To all who participated in the virtual open forums, met with the candidates, and provided feedback, thank you. I am grateful for your commitment, knowledge, and dedication for finding the best candidate for this position and our campus. 


Brian Jersky, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs