Houshmand leaves for Rowan after 6 years at U.
Issue date: 4/28/06 Section: News
"I'm not fearful of these new challenges," Houshmand said. In fact, he welcomes them, given Rowan's location.
Houshmand explained that most states in will be faced with declining populations, but Delaware and New Jersey will see growth. At the same time, Rowan is currently the only university of its kind in southern New Jersey, a circumstance that will lead to its growing importance in the area. Houshmand and his wife Farah will still reside in Philadelphia with their two children for at least the next year, when their son graduates high school.
"The commute will be tough, but I have to do it," Houshmand said.
Still, moving closer to Rowan will keep him in the region, as the university is about 30 minutes from Philadelphia. This was a major part of the reason Houshmand accepted the position at Rowan when he had declined it at other places.
Houshmand admitted that he turned down offers from other schools, including the University of Michigan, where he taught while earning his Ph.D., and another college in Manhattan.
Houshmand's career at the University spans over six years. He started out as the associate provost for academic affairs in 2000. About a year later, he became the dean of GCPS. Before Stephen Director's appointment as the University provost, Houshmand served as the interim provost from February 2004 to July 2005. After that, he returned to his seat in GCPS.
Houshmand started his first stint as dean of GCPS in 2001. At the time, GCPS existed only on paper. The faculty were mostly borrowed from other institutions and the facilities were shared with the University's other colleges, but five years and Houshmand's leadership have brought many seasons of change.
GCPS has grown to have over 30 programs, including a recently approved master's program in several academic majors. The college also boasts nearly two-dozen faculty members, nine laboratories, 15 classrooms and even a research component, something that Houshmand describes as "not originally part of Goodwin's culture." Today GCPS serves almost 2,000 students per year.
Houshmand attributes GCPS' evolution into a respectable and vibrant college to its hardworking, dedicated and caring staff and faculty. "The work was challenging," Houshmand said, "but it has paid off."