Penn State Intercom......September 13, 2001

EMS Dean Dutton
to retire in 2002

John A. Dutton, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) since 1986, has announced plans to retire on June 30.

He joined the University as an assistant professor of meteorology in 1965 and served as head of the Department of Meteorology from 1981 to 1986.

"John has superbly led the college through a period of tremendous change and achievement," said President Graham B. Spanier. "He strengthened the college's reputation and national visibility, increased interaction with other disciplines and significantly expanded its outreach and public service."

Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson noted, "Dean Dutton has been a champion for academic excellence throughout his distinguished career at Penn State. His strong leadership has positioned the college for even greater achievement in the future."

During Dutton's 16-year tenure, EMS research expenditures have more than doubled, and EMS programs have been recognized in rankings of the National Research Council as among the top in the United States. He directed substantial reorganization of EMS academic departments and established a number of research units that have had notable success in the study of the environment, energy and materials. More than two-thirds of the present EMS faculty joined the University while he has been dean. Dutton used the strategic planning process effectively to shape new initiatives for the college and expanded the advisory role of the staff in college affairs.

Beginning in the late 1980s, he directed a significant effort that led from a major curriculum review to the establishment of an undergraduate student center, a pioneering writing program with an endowed writing tutor, the addition of a mathematics tutor and creation of the Center for Advanced Undergraduate Study and Experience (CAUSE). Under the auspices of CAUSE, faculty members receive support for curriculum innovation and a college-wide undergraduate program incorporates fieldwork and in-depth learning in the study of issues relevant to today's world.

Two new minors in global business strategies and in information science and technology have been created in response to alumni recommendations to give EMS graduates enhanced opportunity in both the private and public sector.

Dutton was instrumental in the design of a First Year Seminar that introduces first-year students to EMS disciplines, critical thinking and communications skills, before the adoption of similar courses throughout Penn State. He has been an enthusiastic instructor as well, annually teaching a regular student section throughout the fall semester.

He established GEMS -- Graduates of EMS -- the college alumni society, and other alumni relations initiatives that culminated in the college centennial in 1996. As part of the Grand Destiny campaign, the college already has raised nearly twice its original goal of $27 million for the campaign under Dutton's guidance.

Dutton has served on numerous University committees and projects. In 2000-2001, he was chair of the Council of Academic Deans.

A recognized leader in the atmospheric sciences and national science policy, he chaired the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) board that prepared a vision and strategic plan for The Atmospheric Sciences Entering the Twenty-first Century. He currently chairs an NAS committee to recommend federal research needed for aviation to meet environmental constraints. For many years, he served as president and then chairman of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Foundation.

Dutton serves as a trustee of the Centre Community Hospital and his wife, Elizabeth, is a longtime member of the State College Area School Board. They will remain in the Centre Region, and Dutton plans to pursue opportunities in the private sector related to the management of weather and climate risk in a variety of industries.

Back