Eberly Dean to Become Chancellor of Ecuador’s First Research University
Daniel Larson, the Verne Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science, has been a part of the Penn State community for 16 years. In 1998, he came to the university as the Dean of the Eberly College of Science, and in 2001, he was named the Verne M. Willaman Dean. He is a nationally recognized leader in physics education, and a top researcher in atomic, molecular, and optical physics.
Unfortunately, this will be his last semester with Penn State.
In January, Larson will leave Happy Valley in order to pursue a job with a university in Ecuador. He will become the head chancellor at Ecuador’s first research university, Yachay University. The university hopes to become a leader in global research with basic and applied science.
Also known as Yachay Tech, the university is currently being built in the newly christened Yachay City. The city was chosen for a college due to its goals to excel in research, science, and technological innovation. Yachay is even the Quichua word for “knowledge.” It’s only fitting that the new university will be placed in the “city of knowledge.”
As the chancellor, Larson will be the highest chief of academics. He will be responsible for hiring new deans and faculty members, as well as creating the academic direction of the university. His convocation will celebrate the beginning of the university’s first academic classes, which begin on Oct. 28, 2014.
Penn State President Eric Barron praised Larson for the job he has done at Penn State. “Dean Larson has been a driving force in the rise in national rankings of Penn State’s science research, which in turn has had an enhancing effect on the education our students receive,” Barron said. “We are sorry to see him go, but understand the attraction of this tremendous opportunity.”
Like President Barron, we are sad to see such a powerful and influential professor leave us. Larson provided the Eberly College of Science with the skills to become a national leader in science, and we have no doubt that he’ll recreate those same accomplishments at Yachay University.