“After consulting with engineering faculty, staff and students, Dr. Rolfe’s name was consistently mentioned as the ideal individual to lead the school during this transition,” said KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter. “He will provide strong leadership while a nationwide search commences for a permanent replacement for Dr. Bell.”
Rolfe is one of two current university faculty members who are members of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional distinction accorded to an engineer. KU is the only university in the state with faculty members in the academy. He joined the faculty of the civil engineering department in 1969 and served as department chair for 23 years from 1975 to 1998. During that time, he worked closely with alumni to strengthen programs and raise funds.
“While we’re disappointed to see Dean Bell leave for LSU, we are excited for him and grateful for his accomplishments over the past 10 years,” Rolfe said. “I look forward to continuing our progress in implementing the Building for Excellence initiative as the search proceeds for our next dean.”