CITRIS Merced Director Jeff Wright leaving for Western Washington University

Jeff Wright, founding Co-Director of CITRIS (Merced Campus) has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Science and Technology at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He assumes that position on September 1, 2011.

Hired in the fall of 2001 to serve as inaugural Dean of Engineering at the University of California, Merced, he assumed concurrently the position of CITRIS leadership working closely with the Founding Director of CITRIS, Professor Ruzena Bajcsy. Without a campus–UC Merced opened to graduate students three years later and to undergraduates one year after that–and with very few faculty, Wright focused initially on focusing the strengths of CITRIS on faculty hires and curriculum development for the new campus. This lead to the technology framework for the early courses at UC Merced, and the subsequent creation to innovative teaching/learning technologies that have become known as CITRIS collaboratories.

“CITRIS has been an extremely valuable influence on the birth and growth of the new 10th campus of the University of California,” said Wright. “Many of the faculty at UC Merced were attracted by the potential for association with CITRIS, and those associations have already contributed substantially to their scholarship and their professional success. I cherish my time and associations with CITRIS, and will be taking what I learned from these remarkable people to my new position.”

Professor Paul Wright (no relation!) added, “The growth of CITRIS overall and specifically at UC Merced is in large part due to Jeff Wright’s creativity, hard work, diplomatic skills and kindness to others. Although we will miss him tremendously, this opportunity to grow another outstanding educational environment is, I know, an exciting opportunity for him, and we all wish him and his family great happiness.”

Upon stepping down from the UC Merced Dean’s position at the end of 2009, he has, more recently, focused on CITRIS research initiatives in areas of renewable energy, water resources and intelligent infrastructure, and technologies for emerging economies.