The next provost of Arizona State University Polytechnic in Mesa will be either a retired high ranking U.S. Air Force pilot, a celebrated chemist or a software consultant whose company taught people to use one of the earliest computer programming languages.
On Wednesday, three finalists were named for the top job at Polytechnic, which focuses largely on science and technology disciplines and is located at the former Williams Air Force Base, now Williams Gateway Airport.
The candidates are:
• Michael Mahoney, dean of California State University at Long Beach’s engineering college for six years. The software specialist has authored books that explain the NeXTSTEP programming language, which was used to create the Internet in 1991, according to Mahoney’s Web site.
• James Riehl, dean of the science and engineering college at the University of Minnesota at Duluth, is a molecular chemist who, in 1992, received the St. Louis Award, which recognizes someone who has advanced the field of chemistry and is likely to continue doing so.
• David Wagie has served as an educational consultant to the United Arab Emirates the past two years, reviewing and helping improve the country’s higher education. In 2004, he retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of brigadier general after 32 years, the last six spent as the dean of faculty at the Air Force Academy.
In the 10 years Polytechnic has operated, it has grown dramatically, now offering 42 degree programs to more than 6,000 students. That expansion is projected to speed up and triple the campus’ enrollment in the coming decade.
“The challenges and opportunities are those of growth,” Elizabeth Capaldi, ASU’s chief academic officer, told the Tribune.
Already, the school doesn’t have enough instructors or classroom space. The next provost must oversee $103 million in construction that will add classrooms, laboratories and offices to accommodate 10,000 additional students. Construction broke ground earlier this month.
The provost job opened when Gerald Jakubowski resigned at the end of the spring semester to become president of a technology college in Indiana.