The newly named dean of Eastern Illinois University’s College of Sciences, Harold Ornes, wants to play an active part in helping students reach their destinations in life.
“One of my hobbies is piloting an aircraft,” said Ornes. “Perhaps a metaphor for our future together would be to think of the College of Sciences as an airplane and the faculty, staff, and administration as the flight crew.
“Our job would include studying, understanding and utilizing the complex systems of power, structure, navigation and communication to achieve optimal, efficient and sustainable performance of these systems to get the crew and passengers to our destination safely with joy and enthusiasm for the next destination,” he added.
“While higher education is not exactly the same as airline customers purchasing tickets, EIU is certainly of a size and configuration that has proven itself by delivering high quality educational experiences that prepare students for a lifetime of unlimited destinations. I look forward to being a part of the flight crews at EIU.”
Ornes, who has served as the dean of Winona (Minn.) State University’s College of Science and Engineering since June 2008, will assume his new duties as EIU’s COS dean on July 1. He replaces Mary Anne Hanner, who retired in 2011.
EIU Provost Blair Lord noted that Ornes was selected after a national search which elicited substantial interest.
"The pool of potential candidates was among the richest and most accomplished we have seen for such searches," he said. "Dr. Ornes was very positively received by all constituencies, and I look forward to working with him to assist the college in reaching new levels of excellence."
In addition to his current administrative duties, Ornes has served as dean and a professor of biology in the College of Science and Engineering at Southern Utah University, and as a professor of biology and department chair, Department of Biology and Geology, at the University of South Carolina, Aiken.
He earned two bachelor’s degrees (zoology and botany) and a master’s degree (biology) from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), Kirksville, and his Doctor of Philosophy (majoring in aquatic plant biology) from Iowa State University, Ames.