Getting To Know W. Brent Lindquist

New College of Arts and Sciences dean is committed to helping Texas Tech reach tier-one status.

W. Brent Lindquist became the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on July 15. He joined Texas Tech University from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, where he served as chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and deputy provost of the university. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba in Canada in 1975 and his doctorate from Cornell University in 1981. His first job after receiving his doctorate degree was with New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Why did you choose Texas Tech University?

Searches for an administrative position are always a question of matching interests and opportunities. This was the opportunity that worked out for me. I was attracted to Texas Tech because of its desire to be a tier-one research university.

What are your goals as the Arts and Sciences dean?

My primary goal as dean is to assist the university in reaching research tier-one status. In the first three months in my position here, I had each of my departments develop a strategic plan to address:

  • What the research strengths of the department are.
  •  Where they want their research strengths to be.
  •  What makes the department stand out among all the other competing departments in the country?
  •  What makes it attractive to graduate students?
  •  Who do they need to hire to develop those research strengths?

I believe in strategic planning. You have to have strategic plans to get you where you want to be.

Tell us a little bit about where you are from.

I was born in Ontario, Canada. Within two months my family moved to Manitoba, so I grew up in Manitoba. I lived there until I finished my undergraduate work, and then I went to Cornell.

Tell us about your undergraduate experience.

I went to the University of Manitoba. I got my degree in what they refer to in the Canadian system as honors physics. The Canadian system at that time was very British oriented; with three-year general university degrees and four-year honors degrees. In those days we had year-long classes. There were no semester classes. Final exams covered an entire year of course work. In an honors degree you could really specialize. In my freshman year I took four sciences, math, physics, biology and chemistry, plus anthropology. In my sophomore through senior years, I studied only mathematics and physics. I typically took one mathematics and five physics classes each year. I graduated with a 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Tell us about your graduate school experience.

I did my graduate work in physics at Cornell. I got my doctorate degree in theoretical physics with Toichiro (Tom) Kinoshita. We were working on a calculation that, at the time, was the largest computer calculation done in physics. We calculated the magnetic moment of the electron using Feynman diagrams to enumerate the terms that contribute to the magnetic moment and running the calculations necessary to compute those terms. The magnetic moment of the electron is, today, the most accurately verified prediction in the history of physics.

College of
Arts & Sciences

The Texas Tech University College of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1925 as one of the university’s four original colleges.

Comprised of 16 departments and more than 400 tenured faculty members, the College offers a wide variety of courses and programs in the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. Students can choose from 41 bachelor’s degree programs, 34 master’s degrees and 14 doctoral programs.

With just under 11,000 students enrolled, the College of Arts & Sciences is the largest college on the Texas Tech University campus.

In fall 2016, the college embarked upon its first capital campaign, Unmasking Innovation: The Campaign for Arts & Sciences. It focuses on five critical areas of need: attracting and retaining top faculty, enhancing infrastructure, recruiting high-potential students, undergraduate research and growing the Dean’s Fund for Excellence.



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