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Dr. Dennis Depew new College of Business and Technology dean

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JOHNSON CITY (May 7, 2014) — East Tennessee State University has announced Dr. Dennis R. Depew as the new dean of the College of Business and Technology.

Depew comes to ETSU as dean emeritus of the College of Technology at Indiana’s Purdue University, where he was also a professor of technology leadership and innovation.

Depew says, “I am deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the College of Business and Technology at ETSU and to follow the outstanding leadership of Dean Linda Garceau. The College is home to an excellent and very dedicated faculty and staff, who genuinely care about student success, just as they did when I attended ETSU. This student-focused vision and tradition position the College well for future growth in academic programs and in student enrollment. I also believe we are very well- positioned to move to the next level of excellence in faculty scholarly activity and to provide significant leadership in economic development and growth for our region.”

Dr. Bert C. Bach, ETSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, adds, “Dennis Depew will provide strong and innovative leadership for the College of Business and Technology. His deanship at Purdue over the last decade—as well as his entire academic career—have been characterized by a breadth and depth of impressive achievements. I would particularly note that goals on which he has focused attention are similar to those he will be challenged to address at ETSU. His focus on planning, curricular and pedagogical initiatives, enrollment growth, and research and economic development are paramount priorities for ETSU.”   

An Elizabethton native, Depew received an undergraduate degree in technology education from ETSU in 1975, as well as a master’s degree in technology in 1984. He received a Ph.D. in industrial technology from Purdue University in 1987.

Depew began his teaching career as an assistant professor in the ETSU Department of Technology, followed by three years as a Purdue faculty member in quality control, facilities planning and production operations. In 1990, Depew was named head of the Department of Industrial Technology at Purdue, a position he held from 1990-1998, when he was named assistant dean of the Purdue Graduate School. A year later, he became dean of the College of Applied Sciences at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

In 2002, Depew returned to Purdue, where he served as dean of the College of Technology, and he achieved dean emeritus status in July of 2011.                       

Depew has numerous publications to his credit and has spoken on some 80 occasions while representing the schools where he was employed. He is also the recipient of many research grants, most recently one in excess of $190,000 from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

In addition to awards from ETSU and Purdue for excellence in teaching, Depew was a Fulbright Scholar who spent time at the Dublin Institute of Technology in 2011.

Among his many affiliations, Depew is a member of the International Committee of the American Society for Engineering Education, and Epsilon Pi Tau and Tau Alpha Pi honorary societies, and he has held leadership positions in the American Society for Quality Control. In addition, he is a member of the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, which he has served in several capacities, including chair of the executive board.

Depew is married to the former Donna Polk, a fellow Elizabethton native and ETSU alumna. An active member of the community, she has been an advocate in Indiana for the American Red Cross, the Baptist Student Union and Promoting Employment Opportunities with Women.

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