Dr. Paul Sale, provost/vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas-Pan American, recently appointed Dr. Ala Qubbaj, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as the school's first Provost Fellow.
"Dr. Qubbaj is well respected by faculty, staff and administration. He is a welcome addition to my senior leadership team - he brings great energy and insight that will benefit the direction of academic affairs," Sale said.
In addition, Qubbaj will work with the senior vice provost, vice provosts and other offices in implementing new campuswide programs and initiatives. His first project is to work on a new faculty development and mentoring plan.
"I am honored and energized for the opportunity to join the team of our new provost and play a positive role during this period of important transition at UTPA," Qubbaj, who has been with UTPA since 1999, said.
He has spent the last three years as chair of the Faculty Senate and has worked closely and successfully with both faculty and administrators on various programs. Qubbaj has led numerous committees and played a pivotal leadership role in the development of new policies and other initiatives, such as the Faculty Development Leave Policy, Employment and Evaluation of Lecturers, and the Faculty Code of Conduct. He also chaired the Taskforce on Faculty Governance, which drafted guidelines for the college governance structure, including college by-laws and councils. Sale said the success in such efforts has had a positive impact on UTPA.
Qubbaj's experiences also extend beyond the University. He has served on The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council which has given him a System and statewide perspective of important issues such as "Closing the Gaps," accountability and performance measures, and learning assessment and outcomes. In addition to his active involvement in local, national and international professional organizations, he continues to be actively and successfully engaged in scholarly and research activities including external grant development. His research interests include thermal systems (energy technology and utilization), combustion processes and simulation modeling, and environmental pollution.