John Usher, associate dean for administration, planning and faculty affairs, will assume the acting dean role July 1, when current Dean Neville Pinto will move to the position of interim executive vice president and university provost.

Usher received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UofL and has been a member of the faculty since 1987. He has extensive experience as a department chair, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering from 2005 to 2012.

He is a renowned researcher, with more than $8 million in funded research for organizations including General Electric, the National Science Foundation, IBM and the Office of Naval Research. He is well published, with more than 100 papers and other publications to his credit.

The university recognized him in 2001 with its Distinguished Teaching Professor Award for his excellence in the classroom.

Provost Shirley Willihnganz expects Usher to excel in the new position.

 “I appreciate Dr. Usher stepping up to fill this vital position, and I know Speed is in great hands during Dr. Pinto’s absence,” she said.

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.