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Paulus, Basu honored for their service to University with emeritus status

Dean Emeritus Paul Paulus, left, and Professor Emeritus Asish Basu
Dean Emeritus Paul Paulus, left, and Professor Emeritus Asish Basu

Two College of Science professors have been honored for their service to The University of Texas at Arlington with emeritus status.

Paul Paulus, distinguished professor of psychology and a former College of Science dean, was named dean emeritus. Asish Basu, professor of earth and environmental sciences and former chair of the EES department, was named professor emeritus. The honors were announced during UTA’s Fall Meeting of the Faculty and Associates on September 29.

Paulus retired from full-time faculty status in May after a 51-year career at UTA during which he served as department chair, associate dean and dean. Basu retired from full-time status in January after eight years at UTA and 42 years in academia. He served as chair of the UTA Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences for four years.

“It’s great to see the University confer emeritus status on Dr. Paulus and Dr. Basu for their contributions to the College of Science and UTA,” Dean Morteza Khaledi said. “They have given much to UTA through their teaching and research, and they have also provided excellent leadership through their service in administrative roles. We owe them a debt of gratitude for all they have done in helping to facilitate growth in the College of Science and to make UTA into a world-class institution.”

They bring to 54 the total number of College of Science faculty members who have been named professor or dean emeritus.

Paul Paulus

“It was indeed an honor to receive the dean emeritus status,” Paulus said. “I have always believed that the life of a professor is a very special privilege which enables you to have a lot of control over what you do in your work life. You can make new discoveries in your domain of expertise, share your expertise and enthusiasm for the discipline with generations of students, and work with great colleagues. As a result, most professors do not pine for a life in administrative positions. However, I found the role of Dean of Science to be a wonderful experience.”

Paulus came to UTA in 1970, at a time when increased emphasis was being placed on faculty research, and he quickly established a robust research program. He collaborated with colleagues Verne Cox and Garvin McCain on a long-term, groundbreaking project on prison crowding which received external funding and became highly influential.

In the 1990s he began to focus on the study of brainstorming, idea generation, and group creativity, topics to which he would return frequently in the ensuing decades.

In 1998 Paulus was named associate dean of the College of Science. The following year, he assumed the role of Department of Psychology chair, serving in that capacity until 2004, when he was named interim dean. He was encouraged to formally apply for the position and was selected. He went on to serve as dean until 2009.

Under Paulus’ leadership as dean, the College made numerous key faculty hires, and made much progress in boosting endowments. He worked on the completion of the Chemistry Physics Building and its new Planetarium, one of the finest in the nation. He was also involved in the planning and construction of the College of Science component of the Engineering Research Building. He also helped facilitate the creation of UTeach Arlington, UTA’s acclaimed secondary science and math teacher preparatory program.

“I have always loved all aspects of science, and the dean position allowed me to get beyond my limited set of roles and contacts to have meaningful interactions with people from different departments and colleges and the upper administration and to work with a great staff and set of chairs,” he said. “Being a dean is a very challenging job, but for me it was also very rewarding in terms of the richness of the various roles and activities and the diversity of experiences. I was honored to be selected as dean of the College of Science and will always cherish my experiences in that position, the many people who played a key role in my journey, and the dean emeritus status which reflects that special time in my life.”

Among the many awards Paulus has received are the UTA Outstanding Research Achievement Award in 1989; the Outstanding Teacher Award from the UTA chapter of Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology in 1993; the UTA Distinguished Record of Research Achievement in 2007; and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Otterbein College in 2009. In 2010 he was named a Distinguished University Professor by UTA and was named to UTA’s Academy of Distinguished Scholars.

Paulus has authored or co-authored more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, authored or co-authored 63 book chapters, written or co-written 11 books, made more than 188 presentations at conferences around the world, and delivered invited lectures at dozens of universities worldwide. He has also mentored 30 master’s and doctoral students.

He has been a visiting professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, the University of Sydney in Australia, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland, and the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing.

Paulus is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and the American Psychological Society, and is also a member of numerous professional organizations including the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology, and the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology.

He received a B.A. in Psychology from Otterbein College (now University) in Westerville, Ohio in 1966, and an M.A. in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1970. He was hired by UTA in 1970 while still working on his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, which he competed the following year.

Asish Basu

“This emeritus designation is especially gratifying, and I am thankful that it came on the recommendations of my department, Dean Khaledi, members of the University faculty and the Faculty Senate, as well as the support of interim Provost Pranesh Aswath and President Teik Lim,” Basu said. “I am very grateful for this honor and for the support from the University. In this new role I will continue do my best to serve the interests and mission of the University with all my abilities.”

Basu came to UTA in 2013 and served as EES department chair from 2013-17.

Basu’s research interests are diverse and are primarily based on petrological, mineralogical and geochemical approaches in understanding aspects of Earth's evolution. He uses trace element, radiogenic and stable isotopes as principal tools in these studies, along with other standard laboratory and field observations.

He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology from Calcutta University in 1964 and 1966, respectively. He received an M.S. in Geophysical Science from the University of Chicago in 1969 and earned his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California at Davis in 1975.

He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota from 1975-77 and as a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1977-78. He joined the faculty of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester as an assistant professor in 1978. He was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and to full professor in 1987. He was a member of the Rochester faculty for 34 years, and served as department chair for 12 years.

Basu has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He has supervised more than 30 master’s and Ph.D. students.

Basu is a member of the American Geophysical Union and a fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Award winners from 2019-20 recognized

College of Science recipients of University-level awards from the 2019-20 academic year were also recognized during the online meeting. They include:

Outstanding Research Achievement or Creative Accomplishment – Todd Castoe, associate professor, Department of Biology

UTA Distinguished Record of Research – Wei Chen, professor, Department of Physics

UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars – Yue Deng, professor, Department of Physics

UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars – James Coleman, Dr. Richard N. Claytor Professor of Optics in the Department of Physics and Distinguished Presidential Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering

UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers – Manfred Cuntz, professor, Department of Physics

UTA William S. Ward Endowment Award – Cornelia Winguth, assistant professor of instruction, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

UTA Piper Professor Nominee – James Alvarez, professor, Department of Mathematics

President’s Award for Transformative Online Education – Shanna Banda, associate professor of instruction and director, Resource Center, Department of Mathematics

McNair Scholars Program Faculty Mentors – Benjamin Jones, assistant professor, Department of Physics; Jared Kenworthy, associate professor, Department of Psychology; Peter Kroll, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Subhrangsu Mandal, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Linda Perrotti, professor, Department of Psychology; Corey Roelke, assistant professor of instruction, Department of Biology; Amber Schroeder, assistant professor, Department of Psychology

Title V, IDEAS Fellows – Matthew Fujita, associate professor, Department of Biology; Robin Macaluso, associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Nilakshi Veerabathina, associate professor of instruction, Department of Physics

Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence – (Faculty Fellow 2020): Subhrangsu Mandal, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; (Faculty Mentor, Non-Tenured/-Tenure Track): Shanna Banda, associate professor of instruction and director, Learning Resource, Department of Mathematics; Nilakshi Veerabathina, associate professor of instruction, Department of Physics; (Faculty Mentor, Tenured/Tenure Track): Mathew Fujita, associate professor, Department of Biology; James Grover, professor, Department of Biology; Robin Macaluso, associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Subhrangsu Mandal, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; George Siemens, professor, Department of Psychology; Jaehoon Yu, professor, Department of Physics

Professional Learning Community Faculty Fellows – Fajer Jaafari, adjunct professor, Department of Physics; Gerard Koffi, lecturer, Department of Mathematics; Nilakshi Veerabathina, associate professor of instruction, Department of Physics

Center for Service Learning Faculty Fellows – Shanna Banda, associate professor of instruction and director, Learning Resource, Department of Mathematics; LeeAnn Burke, assistant professor of practice, College of Science/UTeach Arlington; Steven Gellman, associate professor of practice, College of Science

Faculty Development Leave 2020-21 – Gaik Ambartsoumian, associate professor, Department of Mathematics; Rasika Dias, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Ali Koymen, professor, Department of Physics; Christopher Kribs, professor, Department of Mathematics; Matthew Walsh, associate professor, Department of Biology; Jaehoon Yu, professor, Department of Physics

Research Enhancement Program Grants for 2020-21 – Laura Mydlarz, professor and associate dean, Department of Biology; Li Wang, assistant professor, Department of Mathematics