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Former UW-Madison provost Pat Farrell takes Lehigh University

Patrick V. Farrell

Professor Patrick V. Farrell (large image)

Patrick V. Farrell, former University of Wisconsin-Madison provost and a professor of mechanical engineering, was named Lehigh University provost and vice president of academic affairs. Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Farrell will begin his new position on July 24.

As Lehigh provost, Farrell will serve as the university chief academic officer. Among his responsibilities are leading efforts to attract, recruit and retain highly talented individuals to Lehigh. He also will play a central role in working to ensure the success of institutional goals over the next decade.

A UW-Madison mechanical engineering faculty member since 1982, Farrell became the College of Engineering associate dean for academic affairs in 2001. He was named engineering executive associate dean in 2005 and served as UW-Madison provost from 2006 to December 2008.

“Pat’s vision, collaborative approach, and academic and administrative leadership helped shape the future of both the College of Engineering and the university,” says College of Engineering Dean Paul S. Peercy. “We will miss his sound judgment and quick wit, and wish him well in his new position.”

One of Farrell’s priorities as provost was to develop a more strategic vision for the campus. To that end, Farrell managed the university’s two-year reaccreditation self-study initiative, which included input from thousands of people on and off campus, and the resulting work on a strategic framework for the university’s next decade.

Farrell’s other accomplishments include leading the complex effort to define the “Wisconsin Experience” as a recognized set of learning outcomes expected of all UW-Madison graduates. He also served as a strong advocate for student access and affordability, both as a policy advocate and by working personally with individual and corporate donors.

In engineering, Farrell’s research focuses on fluid mechanics, combustion and optical methods as they relate to engine design and function. He was part of the original team that developed an innovative hands-on design course for freshman engineers, and is a fellow of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy.

Farrell earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan, his master's degree at the University of California-Berkeley and his doctorate at the University of Michigan, all in mechanical engineering.