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Tran Named Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Liem Tran, professor and associate head in the Department of Geography and Sustainability, will serve as the next associate dean for academic programs in the UT College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am honored to serve the college in a leadership role and excited to contribute to the growth and development of our college,” said Tran, who joined the UT faculty in 2006 as an assistant professor of geography. He served as an adjunct for two years in the UT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and has a professor appointment at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tran led and coordinated the development of the new BS program in geographic information science and technology (GIST) in the Department of Geography and Sustainability. In his new role, he hopes to continue aligning academic programs and student learning outcomes with industry and community needs.

“With a commitment to academic excellence and student success, I aim to enhance our programs and ensure they meet the evolving needs of our society and communities,” Tran said. “By collaborating with faculty, enhancing our curriculum, promoting inclusivity, and forging industry partnerships, we can provide relevant educational opportunities and equip students with the skills they need to excel.”

Tran also worked with the UT Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) team – a collaborative network of researchers from various disciplines, such as public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, and veterinary medicine. As part of the team, Tran ran COVID-19 transmission rate models to provide valuable information for the Tennessee COVID-19 dashboard.

“Together, we aimed to deliver timely and evidence-based information to policymakers, industry professionals, and the public, addressing critical questions regarding the global pandemic,” Tran said. “I am dedicated to fostering continuous improvement, effective communication, and a culture of collaboration and look forward to working with colleagues to advance our college’s academic programs and reputation.”

Tran is a member of the Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee (SMART) Policy Network, established in 2020 to support UT’s initiatives in combating substance misuse and abuse. He created and maintains several geographic dashboards that provide essential information on substance misuse and addiction resources across Tennessee.

“Through my involvement in these initiatives, I have demonstrated my commitment to leveraging data and interdisciplinary collaboration to address pressing challenges,” Tran said. “I look forward to bringing my experience and dedication to advancing our college’s programs and contributing to its continued success.”

About the College Leadership Changes

Tran is not the only the faculty member stepping into a new role. Mike Blum, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was appointed associate dean for research and creative activity.

Beauvais Lyons, Kate Jones, and Patrick Grzanka were named the inaugural divisional deans for arts and humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences, respectively.

Todd Moore will continue in his role of associate dean for faculty affairs through the fall semester, and will return to the psychology faculty beginning January 2024. Searches for Todd’s successor and for the associate dean for diversity will begin this fall.