Stevens Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that it has tapped current University of Maryland Provost Dr. Nariman Farvardin to serve as the school's next President.
When he begins the first day of a five-year contract on July 1, 2011, Farvadin will become the seventh Stevens President since the school's founding in 1870.
Quoted in a press statement released by the school, Dr. Farvardin said he was thrilled to be joining Stevens.
“In Stevens, I have found a university with a remarkable history, vibrant education and research programs, a deeply rooted culture of innovation, and caring and committed constituents," he said. "I look forward to working with the Stevens community to propel the Institute to even higher levels of achievement.”
According to Steve Shulman, chair of the school's search committee, Stevens sought a "multi-disciplinary candidate who not only exhibited impeccable credentials in a university setting but had the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to carry Stevens forward."
Farvardin will live with his family on campus in the Hoxie House, the traditional home of Stevens Presidents. He will receive an annual base salary of $625,000, down from the $1.1 million his predecessor earned.
But as the Wall Street Journal reports, Stevens had to tread carefully in selecting a new leader after the state of New Jersey sued the school in 2010, accusing it of financial irregularities, including paying its then longtime president Harold Raveche an above-market salary, making improper personal loans to various recipients and releasing inaccurate financial statements.
Stevens itself preemptively sued the state, arguing that the state had exceeded its oversight authority. The two sides reached a settlement, after which Raveche resigned, the school hired new legal representation and revised the membership of its Board of Trustees and other committees.
Originally from Iran, Farvardin has a long and diverse academic resume. Between 1979-1983 he earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York.
During his time as a Provost at the University of Maryland's flagship campus at College Park, administering for more than 37,000 students and 4,000 faculty members, Dr. Farvardin codified a ten-year strategic plan and ambitiously sought to enhanced the school's research and fundraising capabilities.
Through the Stevens press release, members of the University of Maryland administration had complimentary things to say about Dr. Farvardin.
A. James Clark, Trustee Emeritus, congratulated Stevens for the hire. "I have known Nariman for some years and you could not have made a better selection," he said.
Representatives from Stevens, meanwhile, have expressed satisfaction at securing Farvardin as President.
"We are very pleased to introduce Dr. Farvardin to the community," said Larry Babbio, chairman of the Stevens Board of Trustees. "He has the vision and experience to further Stevens’ position as a global leader in education, research and innovation.”