University of California, San Diego


June 13, 2000


SUBJECT:  Appointment of Dean, Division of Physical Sciences

I am delighted to announce that Mark Thiemens, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and holder of the Chancellor's Associates VI Endowed Chair, has been selected as the Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences. His appointment will be finalized shortly, pending Regental approval.

Professor Thiemens, a world renowned scientist and accomplished academic administrator, served as Interim Dean of the Division of Natural Sciences during 1999/2000. During this period, he demonstrated clearly that his leadership and vision for the academic future of the division make him uniquely suited to take on the critical position of Physical Sciences Dean. He has also served as Chair of the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Senior Vice Chancellor Marsha Chandler expressed her confidence in Professor Thiemens' ability to lead the division. "Mark has already proven that he can successfully balance the long-term planning and the day-to-day details of a broad-based division. His leadership ability, scientific stature and campus experience make him the ideal person for the position."

Professor Thiemens is a well-known expert on mass independent isotope effects. The importance of his discovery is now recognized in the numerous applications to the interdisciplinary field of environmental chemistry. His work is also closely tied to atmospheric chemistry, the identity of organic molecules in meteorites, and in understanding the chemical history of the solar system. His research program utilizes rocket borne collection systems. Among the myriad awards bestowed upon Professor Thiemens are the 1998 E. O. Lawrence Medal from the U.S. Department of Energy (the U.S. Government's oldest prize), election as a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society (1996), and the Alexander Von Humboldt Award, which he received twice, in 1990 and 1993.

Professor Thiemens earned his doctorate at Florida State University in 1977, after which he completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. He came to UCSD in 1980 as a visitor and was appointed as a faculty member the following year. Over the years, he has conducted an extremely productive research program with numerous publications in the top journals, including many in Nature and Science. He has also been awarded funding from a variety of sources, including a $216 million dollar grant from NASA's Genesis Project, on which he serves as co-PI.

Professor Thiemens served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry from 1996 to 1999. Under his leadership, the department grew in national and international stature, and several key recruitments were made. During this period, Professor Thiemens remained active and productive in his research program, and also participated in many campus-wide committees. He was also one of the driving forces behind the creation and development of CERT (Center for Environmental Research and Training) and the new interdisciplinary undergraduate program in Environmental Systems.

As Dean, Professor Thiemens will provide academic and administrative leadership in the of the Division of Physical Sciences, which comprises the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mathematics and Physics, three programs, and some ten affiliated ORUs.

His responsibilities will include oversight and planning of academic programs and resources, academic recruitments and advancement of faculty, developing and overseeing fundraising efforts, and serving as a representative at the local, state, national and international levels.

Please join me in congratulating Dean Thiemens on his appointment.

                                                Robert C. Dynes