New Provost Uday Sukhatme, ScD, is an expert in physics problem solving. He has developed new techniques using supersymmetry to understand better and determine the energy levels of potentials in quantum mechanics and wrote a book about it. While his research techniques apply specifically to quantum mechanics, he will no doubt use his unique problem solving skills to the betterment of Pace University.
Sukhatme, a distinguished physicist and academic leader, assumed the role of provost of Pace on May 21, 2012. He comes to Pace from IUPUI (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis) where he served as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties.
“Pace is uniquely positioned with a major presence both in urban Manhattan and suburban Westchester,” said Sukhatme. “This offers rich opportunities for real-life educational experiences, while promoting excellence in research, creative activities, learning, and community engagement. I see great progress and enormous potential at Pace, and look forward to joining an institution that is moving forward in excellence, stature, and reputation.”
Sukhatme has a very busy summer ahead. “My first step will be to get familiar with the many ongoing activities at Pace and assemble data and time trends relevant to the operation of various academic units. This initial data gathering phase will set the baseline for measuring future changes.”
Sukhatme sees real academic strengths in all schools and plans to build on them to make them more visible. “It will be essential to provide the infrastructure in which student dreams flourish and faculty aspirations come true.”
For alumni, Sukhatme encourages remaining connected to Pace and staying abreast of recent developments. And of course, “friendship, advice, time, and money contributions would be most helpful,” he adds. “Alumni are the best ambassadors a university can have in the community.”
Sukhatme served as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties, as well as Professor of Physics at IUPUI since July 2006. There he was the driving force responsible for developing and implementing the IUPUI Academic Plan, major initiatives of which have led to new revenue streams involving innovative enrollment strategies, improved student retention, increased interdisciplinary research, and energetic fundraising. The striking outcomes of the strategic plan have played an important role in placing IUPUI at rank 3 on the 2011 U.S. News &World Report’s list of “Up-and-Coming Schools.”
From 2002 to 2006, Sukhatme served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Sukhatme was at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1980 to 2002 as Professor of Physics, Head of the Department of Physics, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. He earned both his doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSc Honors degree in Mathematics from the University of Delhi, India. He has been a regular participant in international high-energy physics conferences, has given talks on administrative accomplishments at many national meetings, and has received a number of community awards to recognize these achievements. He is fluent in five languages: English, Italian, Marathi, Hindi, and French.
If given his choice of dining partners— living or deceased—he’d choose Mohandas Gandhi, Marie Curie, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, and Christopher Columbus “for their inspiring contributions to improving the human condition, and the arts and sciences.” Sounds like there could be some big problem solving going on at that table.