Viterbi Dean signs on for another five-year term
Dean Yannis Yortsos has signed on to serve a second five-year term in his position as the head of the Viterbi School of Engineering.
Yortsos was appointed dean in 2005 by former university President Steven B. Sample. He had previously served a year as interim dean after his predecessor, current USC President C.L. Max Nikias, vacated the post to become the universityâs provost.
The vetting process for Yortsosâ reappointment included a faculty survey, reviews by the USC Board of Councilors and consultations with school constituencies.
Yortsos also submitted a 14-page memorandum of his accomplishments in the past five years as dean.
âI canât say which is my greatest accomplishment,â Yortsos said. âMy job is to create a culture and environment where people feel they are immersed in exciting research, scholarship, inspiration and discovery.â
Under his leadership, Viterbi has risen from No. 11 to No. 10 in the top 100 engineering schools worldwide in rankings determined by the annually published Academic Ranking of World Universities.
âMy aspiration at this school is that every faculty member feels that they are the very best at what they do at this school,â Yortsos said. âMy job is to help them do that.â
Professor Erik Johnson, an associate chair of the Sonny Astani Department, said Yortsos played a crucial part in expanding Viterbiâs role in the international engineering community.
âHeâs helped expand our visibility by taking leadership of the Grand Challenges National Summit,â Johnson said.
Yortsos was a founder and chair of the summit when it was held at Duke University last year. The summit was held at USC at the beginning of October, and brought engineeringâs greatest minds to Viterbi.
Yortsos also helped create the Office of Strategic Initiatives, which helped increase Viterbiâs global presence.
Efforts to expand Viterbiâs role in the global engineering community have also been a Â substantial focus of Yortsosâ. He spent the past few weeks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei, meeting with parents of current and future students in âParentsâ Dayâ receptions.
He was also promoting i-Podium, a program that allows engineering students from Beijing to interact with their USC counterparts via video conference.
Johnson said Yortsosâ dedication to the Viterbi faculty might be what made him the perfect pick for a second term. Yortsos has been part of Viterbi since 1979.
âHeâs had very good relations with faculty, especially junior faculty,â Johnson said. âHeâs been a part of the faculty for many years and he recognizes that the university wouldnât be here without them.â
Stephanie Stillman, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, said she appreciates the high quality of Viterbi faculty and resources.
âViterbi is really involved in their students and they really want us to succeed,â Stillman said. âThey know how tough engineering can be and they give us access to the resources we need to be stand-outs.â