New Dean to Lead Business and Engineering Colleges

May 25, 2021

After an extensive nationwide search that included candidates from across the country, Bradley University today announced the appointment of Molly M. Gribb Ph.D. as the new dean for Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology and the Foster College of Business. The appointment reflects the collaborative efforts between the two colleges.

Dr. Gribb has served as Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science (EMS) at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville since July 2015. There, she oversaw seven ABET-accredited engineering programs in addition to chemistry, mathematics, data science, cybersecurity, computer science, broad field science and sustainability and renewable energy systems.

Previously, she served as head of the civil and environmental engineering department at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and was a civil engineering professor at Boise State University.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Walter Zakahi noted Gribb’s proven record of success.

“She has shown success in building new programs, securing grants and fundraising for program and infrastructure expansions, and building relationships with community and industry leaders,” he said. “She is also a recognized researcher who has published more than 100 papers and abstracts and has mentored many faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students during her academic career.”

Gribb earned her doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a registered professional engineer in Idaho and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Along with serving on the WiSys Technology Foundation Advisory Council and the Wisconsin Internet of Things Council, Gribb remains an active member of the American Society of Engineering Education Engineering Deans Council. She is a former ABET Academic Advisory Council member.

Bradley President Steve Standifird believes having a single dean over both colleges is beneficial to the institution.

“These colleges are so tightly intertwined through our deep focus on convergence learning that this move allows us to drive home the concept of convergence even further,” he said. “A single dean over both colleges will also help to break down the silos in these areas and benefit Bradley overall by taking two of our strong programs and creating a new synergy.”

Gribb becomes the first woman to oversee either college at Bradley. She will begin her tenure in January of 2022. Matt O’Brien who has served as the Interim Dean of the Foster College of Business will continue in that role until Dr. Gribb reports in early 2022. Lex Akers, who served as dean of the Caterpillar College of Engineering will retire effective May 31, 2021 and Julie Reyer who has served as Associate Dean of the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology will serve as Interim Dean until Dr. Gribb reports in January.

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