News Archives

The first 100 days of Dean Riley: See what has been accomplished

July 7, 2023 - by Kim Delker

Donna Riley, Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing, began as dean of the School of Engineering on April 1. As of July 10, she has been on the job for 100 days. During that time, she has been dedicating a lot of her time to listening tours, meetings and observations in preparation for a strategic planning/logic mapping process by fall 2023 that will provide the School with renewed vision, mission and goals.

The following are her noteworthy accomplishments in the first 100 days:


  • Facilities & Administration (F&A) returns coming back to individual faculty and departments (~2% to faculty; ~1% to departments) – details to come later this month.
    • Faculty Assembly reporting of F&A transparency (where the money goes).
    • F&A capture through Office of Vice President for Research programs – Program for Enhancing Research Capacity (PeRC), Faculty Scholarship Time (FaST), startup funds, etc., communicated at Faculty Assembly in May.
    • Annual year salary replacement opportunities for faculty socialized at School of Engineering Leadership Council.
  • Restoring the Jim and Ellen King endowment for more strategic uses (moving staff off of soft money onto recurring funds).


  • Creation of new positions:
    • Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. This role will be responsible for faculty recruitment, retention, development and success, including the promotion and tenure process. Tasks will include undertaking a faculty workload study for fall and following up on the School climate survey conducted in 2021.
    • Special Assistant to the Dean for Educational Initiatives. Responsibilities of this position will include examining how discretionary dollars can be used to create a faculty reward structure for innovation in teaching and learning.
  • Wall of former deans outside the dean’s office taken down due to concerns about presenting a welcoming and inclusive climate for all visitors. The space will be reimagined, and the past deans will be featured and honored in ways that provide meaningful context regarding their accomplishments and history within the School.


  • Listening tour (including faculty, staff, students and alumni) findings presented to Faculty Assembly in May.
  • Meeting the economic community (including Economic Forum of Albuquerque, Entrepreneur’s Club, local meet-and-greet event).
  • Meeting with various donors/campaign feedback around the country.
  • Meetings with key stakeholders at national/federal labs – visits this summer, fall.
  • Facilities tours of all departments.

Strategic vision/long-term plans

  • Hiring a second Faculty Research Support Officer to work with faculty to expedite the research proposal process and interact with the Office of the Vice President for Research.
  • Advising structure adjusted to create greater consistency across departments.
  • Hiring another 0.5 FTE for advising (with additional commitments from the Provost’s Office).
  • Still to come: Restoring differential tuition (with a teaching assistant allocation policy).
  • Reviewing/developing criteria and process for Level 2 research centers, building on faculty handbook.
  • Dean’s monthly lunches beginning in fall.
  • Re-examining School-level advisory boards (mission and composition).
  • Planning for the strategic planning/logic map process. Planning for a steering committee to be named in July. Leadership team retreat planned this summer.
  • Preliminary SWOT analysis of School developed from listening tour.
  • First School-wide leadership retreat in more than a decade planned for early August.
  • Strategic faculty hiring plan drafted.