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Alan Middleton Appointed A&S Associate Dean

Professor and chair of physics, Middleton will ensure continued development of sciences, mathematics, humanities

May 9, 2017 — Article by: Rob Enslin

Photo of Alan Middleton

Alan Middleton

Karin Ruhlandt, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to announce the newest member of her leadership team.

Alan Middleton, professor and chair of physics, has been appointed an associate dean of A&S. He succeeds Paul Fitzgerald, professor of Earth sciences, who has held the position since 2014.

In his new capacity, Middleton will ensure the continued development of departments and programs in the natural sciences and mathematics. He also will work closely with Gerry Greenberg, the College’s senior associate dean who oversees humanities initiatives, and with the University's soon-to-be-named vice president for research.

Through this work and his collaboration with other associate deans on campus, Middleton will help raise the research profile of the College and the University. His appointment begins July 1, 2017.

"Alan is an inspired teacher, an intrepid researcher and a seasoned administrator, who embodies the values of the liberal arts. His contributions will propel us into a new chapter of growth and success," says Ruhlandt, also a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in A&S.

Ruhlandt considers Middleton’s appointment timely, given Syracuse’s renewed commitment to teaching and research in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Witness A&S’ recent receipt of a $1 million grant award from the National Science Foundation, supporting the recruitment and retention of underrepresented STEM students.

“Alan understands the importance of federal, private and internal funding sources and how they support individual and collaborative research excellence,” she says. “His expertise bodes well for us during this time of political and economic transition.”

Middleton brings more than 20 years’ experience to the position. An A&S faculty member since 1995, he was promoted to full professor in 2008, and was appointed department chair in 2013.

Prior to Syracuse, Middleton held a research position at NEC Laboratories America at Princeton University.

His administrative tenure in the Department of Physics has coincided with several major breakthroughs, including the historic detection of gravitational waves by members of Syracuse’s Gravitational Wave Group and the discovery of two rare pentaquark states by researchers in the University’s High-Energy Experimental Physics Group.

Middleton also has restructured the physics staff to handle an increased volume of research, overseen the renovation of Holden Observatory and opening of the observatory’s Patricia Meyers Druger Astronomy Learning Center, initiated an external review of the environment for women in physics and helped raise the international visbility of the department.

Committed to teaching, scholarship and service, Middleton is a member of Syracuse’s Faculty Salary Review Committee and the University Senate. He has been a longtime member of the A&S Faculty Council, which he chaired from 2015-16, and was a faculty liaison to Syracuse’s Travel Team, helping govern the domestic and international travel by members of the University.   

An expert in the application of advanced algorithms to the study of structurally disordered materials, Middleton is interested in developing best teaching practices and innovative coursework. He is a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. Middleton earned a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. 

Home of the liberal arts at Syracuse, A&S boasts two dozen academic departments and three dozen interdisciplinary programs in the sciences/mathematics, humanities and social sciences. It is the oldest and largest academic unit on campus, with a national reputation for interdisciplinary teaching, research, service and enterprise.

Contact Information

Rob Enslin
rmenslin@syr.edu
315.443.3403