Campus: CSU San Jose -- May 27, 2003

San Jose State University Names New Dean For College Of Engineering

Belle W. Y. Wei has been named dean of the College of Engineering after a nationwide search, announced San José State University. Wei joins a group of about 18 female deans in 345 engineering schools across the nation. She is the only Asian-American woman currently serving in that role in a full four-year accredited engineering school, and the first woman to hold the position at SJSU.

The College of Engineering’s electrical and computer engineering departments are ranked in the top 10 nationally among programs without Ph.Ds, based on U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of “America’s Best Colleges.” As dean, Wei will oversee the college’s 5,247 students, 82 tenure-track or tenured faculty, 148 part-time faculty, and a state budget of $12 million, not including facilities.

Since August 2002, Wei has served as interim dean, succeeding Don Kirk, who retired after eight years. Wei has worked to develop the College of Engineering as a premier educational venue. She has established instructional and research development awards with external grants to enhance faculty excellence in teaching and research. In addition, Wei has worked to increase the $640,000 Silicon Valley Engineering scholarship program to attract top high school students to the university.

Wei has established strategic collaborations with industry, alumni, government agencies, and other educational institutions. For example, partnering with UC Santa Cruz, she is in the process of establishing a joint Ph.D. program and a University-Affiliated Research Center at NASA. She has also built an industry consortium to help develop cutting-edge curricula, and raised funds with an annual target of $2 million to endow and support faculty development and student scholarships.

An SJSU faculty member since 1987, Wei served as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering for four years prior to becoming interim dean of the college. Author of numerous publications on her academic specialty in Very Large Scale Integration, Wei has also received several awards for research and leadership excellence as well as research grants from the National Science Foundation. She has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from UC Berkeley and a master of science in engineering from Harvard University.

The College of Engineering at San José State University has many outstanding alumni who are leaders in the high-tech companies of the Silicon Valley and infrastructure-building agencies throughout the state. The college has approximately 3,486 undergraduate students and 1,761 graduate students with engineering programs in aerospace, chemical, computer, electrical, general, materials, mechanical, civil and environmental, industrial and systems, and aviation and technology. It has an active co-op and internship program and its graduate programs are designed for working professionals. For more information, see

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