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Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau has announced a move to a university in Saudi Arabia.French born Chameau has headed Caltech since 2006 and plans to leave sometime later this summer .
In a statement on Tuesday Chameau said:“For the past seven years, I have been honored to be the president of Caltech, and I am proud of the many things we have accomplished. Serving Caltech has been the experience of a lifetime and a privilege I will always cherish. However, it is my intention in this memorandum to let you know that I will be stepping down from the presidency later this year.
The most important accomplishments, to me, are the achievements of our faculty and students. Every year, one of my most gratifying activities as president is to welcome our new faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows to the Caltech family. They join talented colleagues who share their commitment to excellence and desire to have a disproportionate impact on science and society. The discoveries, recognition, and impact of the Caltech faculty in a typical year are the envy of our peers. The opportunity to interact with such a special group, and to support their endeavors, is a reward in itself.
Caltech’s unique scale and breadth of excellence provide fertile ground for breakthrough collaborations. In addition to strengthening all our disciplinary programs in recent years, we have also launched or expanded a number of cross-disciplinary initiatives in areas critical to society and the future of Caltech: energy, the environment, medical science, information science, and others. The leadership of our division chairs and vice provosts Mory Gharib and Steve Mayo was critical to these endeavors.
Reflecting upon the past few years, I feel pleased and proud of the dedication and commitment our faculty and administration have shown toward enhancing education and learning. The changes to the core curriculum, the introduction of innovative courses and technology through the Innovation in Education Fund, the creation of the Center for Teaching and Learning, and more recently, the offering of MOOCs (massive open online courses) to people beyond the Institute’s walls will pay dividends for Caltech. The leadership of vice provost Melany Hunt in these areas is to be commended.”
Chameau will become president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which began enrolling students in 2009. His wife, Carol Carmichael, will also resign from Caltech.
-Photo by Terry Miller