VCU research dean named dean of UWM’s College of Letters & Science

UW-Milwaukee has named Scott Gronert incoming dean of its College of Letters & Science, effective Aug. 1.

Gronert, associate dean for research in the College of Humanities and Science at Virginia Commonwealth University, has begun preparing his 11-year-old twins for a move to the Midwest and initiated research on Wisconsin’s biking trails.

Scott Gronert

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity at UWM because UWM offers broad access to a high-quality education from a faculty dedicated to teaching and scholarship. It is a transformative place that makes a real difference in students’ lives.”

A chemist and native Californian who earned his PhD at UC-Berkeley, Gronert conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado and taught for 16 years at San Francisco State University. He accepted a professorship at VCU in 2009, progressing from professor to department chair to associate dean for research in seven years. His accomplishments include:

  • $21 million in research awards collegewide in 2016-17
  • Ten percent increase in grant applications collegewide
  • Increase in chemistry bachelor’s degrees awarded, from 59 in 2009 to 134 in 2015, resulting in the department becoming the No. 2 Chemistry Department in the U.S. for baccalaureate chemistry degrees awarded to women and No. 3 in the U.S. for baccalaureate degrees awarded to African-Americans.

His research in organic and biological chemistry has been recognized with a Fulbright Scholarship and distinguished research award from the American Chemical Society, Virginia region, in 2016. He is an associate member of VCU’s Massey Cancer Center.

He says he most looks forward to partnering with faculty and students at UW-Milwaukee.

“I have had wonderful interactions with faculty, staff and students during my visits to UWM and am eager to call it my new academic home,” Gronert said. “I will be joining a college with many success stories, and my goal is to build on that success. I look forward to working with the faculty and staff on innovative ways to continue enhancing student success and academic scholarship across the many disciplines of the College of Letters & Science.”

Gronert has never lived in the Midwest, but his parents are Chicago natives who honeymooned in Milwaukee in the 1950s. When he relocates to Milwaukee this summer, he’ll be joined by his wife, Heidi, son, daughter, the family goldendoodle and several bicycles.

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