About the Dean

Interim Dean Joe KearneyInterim Dean Joseph K. Kearney

Read a Welcome from Dean Kearney

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Interim Dean Joseph K. Kearney is a professor in the Department of Computer Science. Dean Kearney served as associate dean for research and infrastructure in CLAS from 2003 to 2016, as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1993 to 1996, and as director of the School of Library and Information Science from 2000 to 2002. He has been named Collegiate Fellow—the college's highest faculty honor—and in 2017, he received the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

Dean Kearney and Dr. Jodie Plumert co-direct the Hank Virtual Environments Lab, which houses high-fidelity bicycling and pedestrian simulators. The Hank Lab uses virtual environment technology to safely and systematically study perception-action problems with real world consequences such as how pedestrians and cyclists cross traffic-filled virtual roadways. Current projects include two collaborative projects with the National Advanced Driving Simulator to

  • Build a network of connected pedestrian, bicycling, and driving simulators that will enable studies of how drivers interact with pedestrians and cyclists, and
  • Conduct a series of studies of adaptive headlight systems that illuminate pedestrians and cyclists on or near the roadway.

The Dean of the College provides educational leadership for the college's teaching and research missions, promotes the academic quality and welfare of the college's faculty and students, and directs strategic-planning processes and allocation of the budget. The dean works closely with the college's elected Executive Committee on collegiate policy and budget issues and consults with the associate deans on all general policy questions. The associate deans are: Raúl Curto, Executive Associate Dean, Associate Dean for Faculty & Diversity, and the Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Marc Armstrong, Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure, and the Social Sciences; Helena Dettmer, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum, and the Humanities; Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement; and Christine Getz, Associate Dean for Graduate Education, and the Arts.

Assistant Dean Dian Gottlob works with the Dean of the College, as staff for the CLAS Executive Committee, and in support of departmental and program reviews.