Rossbacher of Dickinson Named President of Southern Polytechnic
Atlanta — May 12, 1998
Dr. Lisa A. Rossbacher, dean of the College at Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pa., has been named president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, by the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen Portch.
Rossbacher will join Southern Polytechnic on August 1, 1998, and build on the institution’s strong reputation in engineering technology and science-related programs while seeking new ways to expand its impact. She will inherit leadership of a campus which has roots dating back to 1948, when it was founded to offer two-year programs as a part of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“Dr. Rossbacher is an outstanding scientist, a superb administrator and a fine person, which equals a perfect match for Southern Polytechnic,” said Chancellor Portch, in announcing her appointment. “She will be a real asset to the institution and the regional community.”
Rossbacher is widely regarded and published as a geologist. She spent seven years in key faculty and administrative posts at one of the nation’s elite polytechnic institutions, California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) in Pomona, Calif. Early in her career, she worked as an intern for NASA and expressed interest in becoming an astronaut.
Rossbacher joined Dickinson College as dean, professor of geology, and the Russell I. Thompson Chair of the Dean of the Faculty in 1995. Prior to that she served as vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty, and professor of geology at Whittier College in Whittier, Calif., in 1993-1995.
From 1984-1993, Rossbacher served in a number of faculty and administrative posts at Cal Poly, moving from assistant professor of geological sciences to provost’s associate for planning and director of the Commission for the Year 2001. Ultimately, she served as associate vice president for academic affairs of the institution. Rossbacher launched her career as an instructor in geology at Dickinson College, and later served as a NASA intern in planetary geology at the U.S. Geological Survey, Astrogeology Branch, and as a mass media science fellow for National Public Radio/American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Rosbacher earned a Ph.D. in 1983, and a M.A. in 1979, both in geological sciences, from Princeton University. She also earned a M.A. in geological sciences from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1978, and a B.S. in geology, graduating summa cum laude, from Dickinson College in 1975, where she also was named Phi Beta Kappa in 1974.
She is the author of an extensive list of books, manuals and research publications, and the recipient of numerous scholarly and professional awards. She also is extremely active in several leading professional associations, including serving as a member of the Geological Society of America’s Committee on Minorities and Women in the Geosciences, 1998-2000; and as chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science during 1998-99, among a number of other professional activities. Rossbacher also has authored a bimonthly column since 1988 in Geotimes, a publication of the American Geological Institute. She also has served on the publication’s Advisory Committee, Editorial Board and Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, Rossbacher has served on the board of directors of the American Conference of Academic Deans, and is the current owner of an active listserver discussion group for about 300 member deans of the group.