May 17-18, 2001

 

ITEM 111-2001-R0501       Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of Engineering upon David F. Gibson; Montana State University-Bozeman

 

THAT:                                    Upon the occasion of the retirement of David F. Gibson from the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.

 

EXPLANATION:                  David F. Gibson received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.  He joined Montana State University as an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Management Engineering in December 1968.  In July 1983, Dr. Gibson became Dean of the College of Engineering and Director of the Engineering Experiment Station.  He retired on December 31, 2000.

 

                                                As Dean, Dr. Gibson was responsible for the College’s instructional, research, and service mission.  The College of Engineering consists of five academic departments plus two ROTC units, ten major disciplines with nineteen degree programs (over 200 staff and faculty and 2200 students).  B.S. through Ph.D. degrees are obtainable in areas of engineering, engineering technology, and computer science.  Also included in the College is the Engineering Experiment Station, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center and the Western Transportation Institute.

 

During his tenure, new goals and objectives for the college were developed, industrial advisory committees at both the college and departmental levels were established, major grant programs were initiated, industrial affiliate programs were started, and state technical assistance programs to help develop Montana’s economy were organized.  Dr. Gibson was also instrumental in helping design a major computer network for the college.  He developed plans and obtained state funds for laboratory modernization and equipment acquisition programs.  He chaired a state-wide committee to develop plans for, hire architects, and present the concept to the state legislature that culminated in the new Engineering/Physical Sciences Building (the $22.5 million dollar project was dedicated in 1997).  In addition, a major part of the project in which Dr. Gibson played a key role was raising $3.5 million in matching funds for the building and $4.1 million for laboratory equipment.

 

Dean Gibson was actively involved in initiating and leading the development program for the college.  He was a key individual in raising outside gifts of approximately $10 million.  Under his direction, the College’s MSU Foundation funds grew by a factor of over 10 times to exceed $10 million.  He solicited the first endowed professorship to be established at MSU.  He was also instrumental in establishing endowments for scholarships, facilities, and equipment.

 

During his tenure as Dean, contract, grant and research activity increased by a factor of 8 to exceed $9 million per year.  The College’s focused research efforts achieved national recognition.  In the area of biofilms, the College also achieved an international reputation, and its Center of Biofilm Engineering was designated by NSF as a National Engineering Research Center in 1991.

 

Dr. Gibson served in many professional service capacities.  He was a member of the national Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).  In addition, he served as Chair of the Long Range Planning Committee of the EAC.  He also served on several national committees and in elected offices of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), serving as a national Vice President and Chair of the Sustaining University Program.  He was also active with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).  He served on the Montana Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (MBPE&LS) for 13 years, twice elected as chairman.

 

During Dr. Gibson’s tenure as Dean, the College’s instructional programs maintained and strengthened their tradition of excellence.  The programs consistently received strong accreditation reviews.  The College’s graduates maintained an excellent reputation with employers and were recruited by top companies throughout the country such as Boeing, 3M, Hewlett Packard, Tektronix and many others.  MSU engineering students were selected five times on USA Today’s “All-USA College Academic First Team” and won numerous national awards such as Goldwater Scholarships and recognition as top student professional society chapters.  During his tenure as Dean, the College established its EMPower Program which promotes the recruitment and retention of minorities and women.

 

Dr. Gibson also served the College as Assistant Dean from 1977 to 1983.  In addition, he served as Acting Department Head of the Industrial and Management Engineering Department from 1986 to 1991.  As a professor, he taught a wide range of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  He supervised graduate research, which resulted in first and second places in a national Industrial Engineering thesis contest.  He was Principal Investigator for numerous sponsored research projects prior to entering administration.  His research primarily focused on the development of computerized engineering design and planning models.  His models were mainly focused on logging systems and surface mining operations, relating to two of Montana’s key natural resource industries.  In these areas, he had over $1 million in sponsored projects and over 50 publications and conference presentations.  In the 1970s his models were some of the first to employ interactive computer graphics.  Throughout his tenure at Montana State University, Dr. Gibson was a member of numerous university committees. 

           

For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon David F. Gibson the rank of Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus of Engineering at Montana State University and wishes him well for many pleasant years in the future.