James Duderstadt became dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan at only 36 years old. In his 40 year career at the university, Duderstadt is best known for restructuring the school, making improvements and advancing the university to prepare for a new age in education.
“We’re entering a world in which lifelong learning becomes not only a need of every individual, but the responsibility of a democratic society to provide it,” Duderstadt said in an interview with The Michigan Daily.
Duderstadt’s teaching, research, and published works span the fields of nuclear science and engineering, applied physics, computer simulation, science policy, and higher education policy. Duderstadt’s legacy also transformed the engineering curriculum at the University of Michigan, and encouraged underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers. As President of the university from 1988 to 1996, Duderstadt brought up issues like diversity and repositioning the University for the digital age — ideas that have become mainstays of the University’s identity.
By Jennifer Santisi