Charles R. Westgate, an engineering faculty member and administrator for more than three decades, will leave Johns Hopkins in June to become dean of the Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University, which is part of the State University of New York. The school is named for Thomas Watson Sr., founder of IBM.
Westgate, who is usually known as Roger, will become Watson's second dean, replacing Lyle D. Fiesel, who is retiring on June 1. Binghamton Provost May Ann Swain announced Westgate's appointment last week. "We were impressed by the breadth of his background and his experience and his apparent ability to get things done and to help the Watson school grow," she said.
Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering, informed faculty and staff members through an e-mail message, in which she said, "While this is a terrific opportunity for Roger, it is a great loss to the Whiting School, to Homewood and to the greater Hopkins community. Please join with me in congratulating Roger on his future position."
Although Westgate grew up in Binghamton and still has family in the area, he said he accepted the position primarily because he was impressed by the quality of the Watson School. "Binghamton is a great university, and the Watson School is a first-rate engineering school," he said.
At Hopkins, Westgate is the William B. Kouwenhoven Professor of Electrical Engineering and executive director of the Engineering School's Part-Time Programs. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1966 after earning his doctorate at Princeton University. In recent years, he has conducted extensive research focusing on high frequency circuitry and devices.
Westgate has been honored several times for his skills as a teacher and mentor, most recently last spring when he received a Student Council Award for Excellence in Teaching. Asked then about his teaching philosophy, he said, "I don't think in terms of grades. I try to convey my own enthusiasm for the field. I try to make the students aware of what an exciting field engineering is."
Two years ago, a former student who has become a highly successful businessman contributed funds for two full engineering scholarships named for Westgate.
Outside the classroom, Westgate has held several administrative posts. He served as interim dean of the Whiting School in 1997-98. Earlier, he was associate dean for academic affairs. He also has chaired the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Westgate was recognized by his peers off-campus in 1986, when he was named Maryland Engineer of the Year, presented by the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers.