Dr. Abdel Bachri has been selected as the new dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Southern Arkansas University.
The announcement was made recently by Dr. David Lanoue, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SAU. As interim dean, Bachri played an important role in a number of critical initiatives including the creation of a B.S. degree in Public Health (which was approved by the state coordinating board in April) and the effort to initiate ABET accreditation for Engineering.

“Dr. Bachri is an accomplished scholar and teacher who also has a heart for people,” Dr. Trey Berry, president of SAU, said. “During the past few years, he has gained great respect on campus among his colleagues. He also has many innovative ideas for the College of Science and Engineering. I look forward to working with him as we move SAU and the college forward.”

“Dr. Bachri has been a visible, transparent leader who has emphasized increasing communication between the College’s diverse array of departments,” Lanoue said. “As our immediate past Honor Professor, Dr. Bachri has consistently shown his commitment to students and his loyalty to SAU.”

Bachri joined SAU in 2007. He completed his B.S degree and his M.S. at the University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco, where he majored in Physics. He received a master’s in High Energy Physics from the International Center of Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics from Oklahoma State University.

In accepting the deanship, Bachri pledged to earn the trust and support of his colleagues and to enhance the profile of SAU. “My philosophy is one that is student-customer centric. My primary focus will be representing the views of the faculty and helping them accomplish their work. I will work hard to optimize and strengthen our offerings.”

In the fall of 2007, his first upper-level class had an enrollment of three students, and the number of physics and engineering majors fewer than 10. “Within the first 12 months, and through a combination of grants, matching and solicited donations, I attracted in excess of $25,000 in instruments and lab equipment, and worked hard to recruit students and make sure they progressed into successful researchers or engineers," he said.

The College of Science and Engineering now has more than 200 declared majors and six faculty members.

“I look forward to working with Dean Bachri as we continue to build on the growth and success of our programs in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Nursing, as well as the Natural Resource Research Center,” Lanoue said.