FAU appoints Valery Forbes as College of Science dean

Forbes officially began serving the position on Aug. 10.

Richard Pereira, News Editor

FAU recently appointed Valery Forbes as the next dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. According to university spokesman Joshua Glanzer, she officially started on Aug. 10.

“I’m thrilled to join the university as dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. It’s energizing to be part of an ambitious university with a bold strategic plan,” Forbes said.

The College of Science dean is responsible for directing the programs such as biological sciences, chemistry, environmental science in the second biggest college in the university with a student body of over 8,500. Forbes previously was the dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota for about seven years.

“I discovered that I really love being a dean, but I was looking for some new challenges,” Forbes said. “The Schmidt College of Science is about twice the size of my previous college with a more diverse portfolio of disciplines, both of which I found very attractive. The college has major strengths in environmental and health-related research, and I believe that these are two areas with huge potential for future growth.”

FAU’s push to become an R1 research university — a premier classification for institutions of higher education — drew Forbes in on taking the role.

“Helping to move the University to reach the status as one of the nation’s top academic and research institutions is a stimulating challenge as the dean and one that I welcome,” said Forbes.

According to Emilie Snell-Rood — an ecology, evolution, and behavior professor who serves in the faculty senate in the University of Minnesota — Forbes led the College of Biological Sciences in “exciting new directions” before departing Minnesota.

“For example, [Forbes] raised an unprecedented amount of funds for undergraduate education and involvement in research. Students saw new scholarship opportunities open and many who could not afford taking time to do lab research could now enroll in a paid research program,” Snell-Rood said. “Dean Forbes is an advocate for science who sees not only the big picture, but also the small details necessary to get things done.”

Forbes plans to raise the visibility of the college’s programs, help faculty attract larger, multi-partner grants and projects, reduce administrative barriers, institute seed funding to jumpstart new collaborations, and provide increased opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research with faculty.

“As one of the largest colleges at FAU, it is essential that our college not only have strong researchers, but that we have research leaders who want to create synergistic partnerships across FAU and beyond,” said Forbes. “I look forward to engaging with our alumni, our donors, and our community partners to explore how we can partner to make an even greater impact with the important work that we do.”

Richard Pereira is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.