Barry Lutz, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences since 2004, will serve as interim dean of the college while a permanent dean is sought, announced Liz Grobsmith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“I am deeply honored by the confidence expressed in me by the provost, the faculty and the staff to carry out the vision and mission of the college,” Lutz said. “I am excited by the opportunity to help reinforce the positive trajectory that Laura Huenneke’s leadership established.”

Former dean Laura Huenneke has been named NAU’s vice president for Research. Her appointment is contingent upon approval by the Arizona Board of Regents, which is expected in March.

Lutz came to NAU in 1988 as an adjunct professor of physics and astronomy and he became a professor in 1991. From 1992 to 2001, he was chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Since 1993, Lutz has served as the associate director of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium and director of the NAU/NASA Space Grant program. From 1977 to 1991, he worked as an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. He has held numerous professor positions at NAU, Arizona State University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

“I am very excited to have Dr. Lutz join our leadership team,” Grobsmith said. “His strong commitment and administrative experience will help guide the college during this critical period of transition.”