I have also been fortunate to have an extraordinary staff. Zack Robbins, my first hire as department coordinator, taught me a great deal and helped set the tone of my administration. He also helped me make the decision to hire, as my administrative assistant, a young woman who we were concerned might not be assertive enough to deal with the demands of the faculty. As it turns out our concerns about Reka were unfounded. She has since been promoted to the department's Director of Faculty Affairs & External Relations. Besides being known as the administrative team's “enforcer,” her efforts have revolutionized the way we do things in the department and the campus. She developed the system for electronic promotions that is now being used at all levels of the campus. Many of the innovations around here in the past seven years have been developed with Reka's help. We have also been privileged to have an outstanding communications staff with Hannah Wong, Sheldon Smith, Karrie Hawbaker and, now, Carole Cuaresma. My life has been organized, with skill, from Reka Montfort, David Watson and, now, Nick Hammer.
I'm confident that under new leadership this department will remain one of the top departments in the nation. This confidence comes for two reasons. First, because much of the hard work of making this the best run department at the University is done by the staff, the new chair will have the support of Dean Kitchen, Kari Aldrige and the superb supporting administrative staff in the financial and billing offices. I know that somehow, defying all odds, Lorraine will continue to keep the building limping along. I also know that Bernie, Tom, Linda and Jane will provide the best student support at the University.
The second reason is because of our extraordinary faculty who are always willing to do what it takes to make our department great. I knew the department was going to be in great hands when the search committee came up with Nick Hadley and Drew Baden as potential chairs. They are both great leaders and either would have done a great job. After a difficult decision, Dean Halperin chose Drew. As a Physics professor and Associate Chair of Facilities & Personnel, Drew has made extraordinary contributions to the field of physics as well as the department and university.
Drew has produced outstanding work in the field of high energy physics. His current research efforts have played a critical role in two of the most prominent experiments in high energy physics today, DZero and Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). He is an exceptional professor who excels in research, teaching and service to the department.
As you all know, the Physical Sciences Complex (PSC) has been a major priority during my term as Chair. Drew was the point-person on the proposal for the building and he has played an integral role in making the PSC a reality. I am certain that the momentum that we have built over the past several years will continue under Drew's leadership. I hope you will all welcome him as the new chair and help make his transition as smooth as possible.
Jordan A. Goodman
Professor and Chair