With their eyes on the future and a nod toward MSOE’s history, the MSOE Presidential Search Committee sought an industry-experienced professional who also is an academic leader. They found that in Dr. John Y. Walz, who was appointed fifth president of MSOE in its 103-year history.
Dr. Rolf Wegenke, WAICU president, hailed the selection of Walz. “Dr. Walz has had a distinguished career in business, education, academic leadership and in chemical engineering. MSOE is known as an entrepreneurial and innovative university with a profound impact, not only on students, but on the economy and on the broader community. It looks to me like a perfect match.”
A Tulane University and Carnegie Mellon University-educated chemical engineer, Walz has served in industry, at big public universities and also at small private institutions. He began his career as an engineer at Shell Oil Co. He moved into research and then teaching, holding faculty and leadership positions at Carnegie Mellon University, Tulane University, Yale University, and the University of Kentucky.
“In education, your success is measured by your students’ success. That’s why we’re here,” said Walz. “I’m very proud of what the graduate and undergraduate students I’ve had the pleasure of working with have accomplished. And I’m proud of the positive impact I’ve had on them.”
Regarding the future of engineering, business, and nursing, Walz said, “The boundaries between disciplines are getting thinner and starting to break down. It’s all about multi-disciplinary approaches to work and problem solving. MSOE is in a great position to break these barriers because we’re small and private and we can be nimble in starting new and interdisciplinary programs.”
“I’m happy and excited to be at MSOE. I think we’re doing great things; we’re a very strong university with a lot of opportunity.”