Cal Poly names interim engineering dean

June 24, 2010

Mohammad Noori

By Karen Velie

Mohammad Noori will step down as dean of the engineering college on June 30 and Erling Smith, the vice provost for programs and planning, will assume the duties of the dean until a new dean is found, according to an email to engineering faculty from Cal Poly interim provost Robert Koob earlier today.

“We expect a search to begin this fall and a new dean to be named sometime in the first half of 2011, or as soon as possible after a new Cal Poly president is named,” Koob said in the email.
Noori exercised his right, as a former dean, to become a teacher in the college of engineering, Koob added.

For more than two years, the engineering college’s department chairs had been threatening to take a vote of no confidence against Noori in a effort to get him replaced.

Dissatisfied critics said Noori’s inability to manage budget deficits, a seemingly lack of leadership for such an important academic unit within Cal Poly and his failed plan for a proposed partnership in 2008 with an engineering school in Saudi Arabia project led to growing calls that he be fired.

Earlier this month, Koob met with Noori and asked him to step down, CalCoastNews had learned.

Prior to being hired at Cal Poly, Noori served as the mechanical and aeronautical engineering department head at North Carolina State Universifrom 1999 to 2004. He was hired at Cal Poly in 2005.