A University of Colorado Boulder dean is departing to take a top job at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory.
Bobby Braun, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said the change is unexpected but was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“This is the kind of job when I was 8 years old that I dreamed I might one day be doing, so I have to follow my heart,” Braun said.
Braun will be on the executive leadership team of NASA’s jet propulsion lab, which is a division of the California Institute of Technology.
“I wouldn’t be leaving CU for anything but this specific job, which just happens to be extremely well aligned with my personal interests and passions,” he said.
Braun said he’s proud of the progress the program has made in his three years, including increasing enrollment and diversity and expanding satellite programs on the Western Slope.
Braun will stay at CU Boulder until January and work with an interim dean on the leadership transition.
Provost Russell Moore said an interim dean will be announced in the next week or two, and a national search will be conducted for Braun’s replacement.
“Bobby has put us on a good trajectory and we expect the progress that’s being made to continue,” Moore said. “Bobby has made some great progress in terms of growing involvement and quality of students. We have some very aggressive diversity goals that we’re on the path to achieving, and those goals are independent of who is the dean.”
Braun said he has high hopes for where the program will be in 10 years.
“We are the go-to engineering college in the state and I think in the coming years we will become the go-to public engineering college in the country,” Braun said. “Our students aren’t just going into jobs, our students are creating the jobs of the future.”