Logo: University of Southern California

Yortsos to Serve Second Five-Year Term as Viterbi School Dean

Fourth-year review included a faculty survey; open meetings with school constituencies and feedback from the Board of Councilors
Bob Calverley
October 25, 2010 —

USC President C. L. Max Nikias has offered Yannis C. Yortsos a second five-year term as dean of the USC Viterbi School Engineering, and Yortsos has accepted.

Dean Yannis C. Yortsos: five more years
The announcement was made in by Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Garrett following a fourth-year review that included a faculty survey, open meetings with different constituencies in the school and feedback from the school's Board of Councilors.

"Many respondents praised Dean Yortsos' commitment to the school and his diverse faculty views, as well as his intellect, accessibility, and openness," Garrett said in her announcement memo. "Some also praised his support of interdisciplinary activity and his strong advocacy of academic collaborations with other schools at the university."

Yortsos became dean on June 1, 2005 after he had been serving as interim dean for a year while a nationwide search for a new dean was conducted. That search became necessary when the former dean and current USC president, Nikias, was named provost by then USC President, Steven B. Sample. Yortsos, Nikias and Sample are all members of the National Academy of Engineering and the Viterbi School faculty.

"The Viterbi School has been experiencing exhilarating growth the last several years and practically every quality indicator -- student, faculty, research and scholarship -- has improved dramatically and compellingly," said Yortsos in the 14-page "List of Accomplishments in my Tenure as Dean of the Viterbi School" he submitted in support of his reappointment to a second term.

Yortsos said he would continue to be guided by the vision he articulated shortly after becoming dean:

  • First at USC
  • A Leader in the Nation
  • With Constantly Improving Quality, and
  • Excellence in All Our Endeavors

He said that while the vision remains as compelling as before, he was re-adjusting and re-focusing it in two new dimensions:

"As the university is moving into a new era, with a new leadership, and as I have been humbly entrusted with another term to lead this remarkable school," he said he would add two additional and re-focusing dimensions:

  • Advancing and fulfilling the promise of engineering to empower society, as the enabling discipline of our times in what we call Engineering+, and
  • Nurturing the culture for the school to be the source of the next great innovation.

Yortsos, a chemical engineer, is the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and holds the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering. He joined USC in 1973 and was chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1991 to 1997. Before becoming interim dean, he served as associate dean and then senior associate dean for academic affairs.

He has published more than 145 refereed research articles, delivered more than 110 invited presentations and presented more than 80 conference papers. He received his B.Sc. degree from the National Technical University, Athens, Greece, in 1973, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology in 1974 and 1979 respectively, all in chemical engineering.