SRU names Nicole Dafoe as dean of the College of Engineering and Science


Nicole Dafoe

Nicole Dafoe will be the next dean of Slippery Rock University’s College of Engineering and Science. Dafoe, who has worked at SRU since 2012, has served as an interim dean since January 2022.

April 18, 2023

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University today announced the appointment of Nicole Dafoe as the dean of the College of Engineering and Science, effective this summer. Dafoe, who has worked at SRU since 2012, has served as an interim dean since January 2022. Following a nationwide search and recommendation from a University search committee, Dafoe's appointment was approved by the administration.

"We are grateful to have Dr. Dafoe's contributions as interim dean and we're pleased to know that we'll have her continued leadership as we advance our College of Engineering and Science," said Michael Zieg, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. "She has proven to be more than capable of succeeding as the dean and we look forward to further benefiting from the experience and knowledge that she brings to this role."

Dafoe was interim dean of the College of Health, Engineering and Science from January 2022 to June 2022 and continued as interim dean of the CES upon the creation of the College of Health Professions in July 2022. Dafoe led a successful reorganization of the CES after several departments joined the CHP. She also developed a short-term strategic plan for the CES and worked closely with staff, department chairs and other faculty to support the growth of academic programs by providing resources to meet accreditation standards and establish articulation agreements with community colleges and other enhancements.

"I'm incredibly excited and honored to become dean and I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students," Dafoe said. "As an interim dean, everything I've done has been short term, so I'm eager to tackle projects and goals that require sustained focus from the dean's office. This is a great college and I'm ready to continue developing articulation agreements, making connections with industry and building our academic programs."

The CES represents more than 80 faculty members from six departments:

  • Biology.
  • Chemistry.
  • Computer science.
  • Geography, geology, and the environment.
  • Mathematics and science.
  • Physics and engineering.

SRU's School of Engineering has undergone growth during Dafoe's leadership, with the addition of three new laboratories completed last year and three more scheduled to be completed by fall 2023.

A native of Port Huron, Michigan, Dafoe first joined the SRU faculty in 2012 as a biology professor and became department chair in 2017. A plant molecular biologist by training, Dafoe earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Victoria in Canada, and her Bachelor of Science in biology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan in 2003. Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals during her career and she worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service from 2009-12 studying the defense response in maize against the European corn borer.

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