A new chapter
Gratitude and a transition: Dean Jelena Kovačević reflects on her tenure at NYU Tandon
Dear Tandon community members,
If you haven’t already heard, I’m writing to share that on August 31, 2024, after what has been one of the most fulfilling and meaningful periods of my career, I will be stepping down as dean of NYU Tandon and stepping back into the role as a member of the faculty — one of our many Agents of Optimism.
When I arrived in 2018, I felt the call to rise to a once-in-a-lifetime challenge: to shepherd NYU into the future as a preeminent engineering school, at a time when engineering and technology are being recognized as increasingly essential to so many areas of our lives.
Now, five years later, I am incredibly proud of what all of us at Tandon have achieved together. Thanks to joint efforts between our students and our faculty, and the many people who support their important work, we have created a place where interdisciplinary research and education thrives in critical domains: wireless communications, cybersecurity, sustainability, AI, data science and robotics, urban innovation, and health. A place where we put our students first, and have re-engineered the undergraduate and graduate curriculum at every level to equip them to be the Unconventional Engineers the 21st century needs. A place where we foster inclusivity, through initiatives like our Office of Inclusive Excellence, as well as our research aimed at creating a more equitable world beyond the bounds of our campus.
I am also deeply grateful to NYU’s leadership for their continued commitment. NYU’s recent $1 billion investment in engineering was made in acknowledgement that engineering education is a force for social mobility and positive societal change. This will allow us to recruit 40 new full-time tenure track faculty, fuel groundbreaking research, and continue growing and modernizing our Downtown Brooklyn campus.
I am also thankful to the New York and Brooklyn community that has continued to partner with our school and work with us as we create the solutions to make New York City serve as a model for urban environments across the globe. Our industry partners are working in tandem with us on research and employing our graduates. Our neighbors are working with us to ensure that our borough comes out of the pandemic stronger than before. And our government allies are committed to a more just and equitable society and we work to provide them the ideas that will make us more sustainable, safer, healthier and more able for ALL New Yorkers to engage with and use technology to better their lives.
To list everything we have achieved over the last five years would be impossible. But if you’re so inclined, you can read through our Years in Review below, which tell the story of NYU Tandon while I’ve had the immense pleasure of serving as dean. They offer a glimpse into the incredible work that has already happened — and will continue to happen — here at our school.
With much gratitude and love,