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Feb. 24, 2021

Interim Faculty Excellence Advocate

Robert Ofoli selected for transition advocacy role in MSU Engineering

Robert Ofoli will serve as Interim Faculty Excellence Advocate (FEA) for the MSU College of Engineering. He replaces Tamara Reid Bush, who was recently named Interim Chairperson of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Robert Ofoli

Ofoli is an associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science.

Engineering Dean Leo Kempel said Reid Bush had been serving as the college's FEA, so her new appointment to lead the mechanical engineering department created a need to appoint an Interim FEA for the college.

"The internal search for an FEA was conducted less than a year ago," Kempel explained. "The committee presented several very good candidates at that time for my consideration. Because of the quality of that pool, I decided to ask one of the other candidates.

"I'm so glad Robert agreed to be our Interim FEA," Kempel continued. "He is a gentleman and a scholar who impressed me with how well he advocated for the college, faculty and students during his time as a member of the Faculty Senate and University Council. I especially appreciate his courage in "telling truth to power' during difficult times."

Ofoli brings many informed experiences into the advocate's role. In the position, he will work to ensure a fair and equitable process in hiring, promoting, and managing ranked faculty and academic staff. He will also seek methods to enhance diversity among faculty and academic staff in the college.

He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Ofoli is currently serving as the chair of the AIChE Fellows Council, where he works to diversify the membership of the AIChE Fellows roster and to create mentoring opportunities.

He has taught across the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum and served as the faculty adviser of the AIChE Student Chapter at MSU since 1996. Among his awards, he has two Withrow Teaching Excellence Awards, and several professional service recognitions including the AIChE Gary Leach Award.

Kempel noted he has provided strong service to several departmental, college, and university committees, including the University Committee on Academic Governance, University Council, and Faculty Senate.

Ofoli's research focuses on enhanced repurposing of polymers to promote a circular economy, and earth-abundant catalyst complexes for sustainable production of fuels and organic materials. He is an active member of both the AIChE and the American Chemical Society (ACS).