Kennesaw State Names New Dean to Lead Engineering College

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

Kennesaw State University has named engineering leader, researcher and practitioner Lawrence Whitman as dean of the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology(SPCEET), effective July 1.

Whitman currently serves as dean of the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). During his tenure at UALR, he secured one of the university’s largest gifts, ($6.75 million) for the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, facilitated the development of a new cybersecurity degree, and obtained industry support for new internships and sponsorships for students in multiple disciplines.

“Dr. Lawrence Whitman brings a unique blend of experience and expertise to our University,” said Kennesaw State President Kathy Schwaig. “His insights gained from years of industry practice as an engineer, coupled with his leadership in higher education, will enrich our engineering programs and further our commitment to excellence in STEM education.”

In his position at KSU, Whitman will provide leadership and strategic direction for Georgia’s second-largest engineering college with nearly 5,000 students across 17 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. His focus will include planning, budgeting, fostering research, recruiting faculty and students, and fundraising. He will report directly to Kennesaw State’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“Dr. Whitman has a proven track record of fostering innovation, driving academic rigor and cultivating strategic partnerships which will continue to position the college at the forefront of engineering education and research,” said Ivan Pulinkala, KSU’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “I look forward to working with him as he helps lead the college to new heights.”

An accomplished engineering professor and researcher, Whitman has secured more than $2.6 million in scientific funding for research projects, and his credentials include more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings. He is the past treasurer for the Arkansas STEM Coalition and was on the board of directors of the Industrial Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. Whitman previously served as the associate dean for undergraduate education in Wichita State University’s College of Engineering, and he was an engineer in the aerospace industry for 10 years prior to entering academia.

“The Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology is well-positioned to make a significant impact on Georgia and the nation,” Whitman said. “I am thrilled to lead the team of faculty and staff to propel the college forward and improve the lives of our students and the community at large.”

Whitman received both his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering design technology and master’s degree in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University. He earned his doctorate in industrial engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.