From Office of the Provost
January 10, 2022

To the campus community,

After a national search, I’m pleased to announce that Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D. will join CSU as dean of the Washkewicz College of Engineering on Feb. 14, 2022. Dr. Schoephoerster is currently the dean of the Graduate College and Research at Arkansas Tech University is Russellville, Arkansas.

Dr. Schoephoerster is a highly effective leader with extensive experience in growing engineering programs. He brings real-world experience in expanding academic programs in the U.S. and abroad, including designing professional development workshops for thousands of engineering faculty and leaders nationwide.

As you’re aware, CSU is one of five anchor institutions comprising the Cleveland Innovation District, a catalyst for ongoing investment to attract and create new businesses and talent for the region’s information technology and healthcare sectors. CSU is leading the efforts to produce 10,000 new STEM graduates for the district’s 20,000 new jobs over the next 10 years. Dr. Schoephoerster has overseen the creation of new degree programs, numerous faculty recruitment efforts and consecutive student enrollment increases in several past positions, making him keenly qualified to strengthen our College of Engineering as CSU works to grow Northeast Ohio’s economy in our tech-driven world.

Prior to his time at Arkansas Tech University, Dr. Schoephoerster served as dean of the
College of Engineering at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates from 2016 to 2019. He previously served as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso from 2007 to 2015. He also served in various capacities at Florida International University, where he rose in the ranks from research associate to founding chair of the department of biomedical engineering.  

He recently completed a contract with the American Society of Engineering Education in Washington, DC. The contract work plan consisted of the design, development and delivery of professional development workshops for their 10,000+ members. The workshops included one focused on junior faculty, another on new department leaders and a third targeted on aspiring deans.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Joanne Belovich, who has done a remarkable job serving as Washkewicz’s interim dean since 2019. She will continue to be a vital member of the College of Engineering scholarly community as she returns to the faculty in the chemical and biomedical engineering department.  

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Schoephoerster to our CSU family. There will be opportunities for our community to meet him once he’s on campus next month.
Kind regards,
Laura Bloomberg, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
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