Physics professor takes the reins as associate dean

The College of Science welcomes Henri Jansen as its new Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, effective January 29, 2018. Jansen has been a professor in the Department of Physics since 1985. He will continue his teaching and advising responsibilities through mid-March.

Jansen replaces Staci Simonich who became OSU’s new Associate Vice President for Research on January 1, 2018.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Jansen to the College’s executive leadership team. He has a depth of experience in teaching and advising and has always been a strong supporter for students,” said Roy Haggerty, dean of the College of Science.

“He brings an impressive record of accomplishment as a physicist, leader, teacher, advisor and mentor.”

Jansen brings to the position his passion and commitment to students, devotion to teaching and advising, data-driven approach to decision-making, leadership experience and deep knowledge of the university. The Department of Physics is a national leader in research on upper division education, and they have applied the learning and approach directly to the lower division course reform.

Throughout his 32-year career at OSU, Jansen has held many administrative roles, including serving as physics department chair for 16 years from 1998 to 2014 and on the Promotion and Tenure committee for both the College of Science and the OSU Faculty Senate. In the Department of Physics, he held the roles of program advisor since 2003 and lead advisor since 2012.

As Associate Dean, Jansen will be a member of the College’s Executive Leadership Team and lead the College’s student success efforts, identifying and implementing strategies to improve its academic, recruitment, retention and co-curricular programs. He will be responsible for developing and implementing programs and strategies to improve undergraduate student success and equalization by closing gaps in degree completion for Pell-eligible, first generation and underrepresented science students.

He will also work to enhance the College’s efforts in diversity and inclusion for our community and in partnerships with LSAMP, SACNAS, STEM Leaders Program, the College of Science Student Advisory Board and OSU’s cultural centers. Jansen speaks fluent Dutch, English and German and intermediate level fluency in French and Spanish.

A theoretical physicist and exceptional teacher, Jansen has taught and mentored generations of undergraduate and graduate students at OSU. A beloved professor for more than 30 years, he has received numerous honors in recognition of his outstanding teaching and advising talents.

In 2015, Jansen received the Olaf Boedtker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in the College of Science, which honors advisors with exceptional and inspirational advising of undergraduate students. In 2017, he received OSU’s prestigious Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award for outstanding undergraduate advising. The award honors longtime chemistry professor H. Darwin (Dar) Reese who was renowned across OSU for his thoughtful and caring advising of undergraduate students and his enthusiasm and concern for undergraduate instruction. This a sentiment that many throughout our college use to describe Dr. Jansen.

With an extensive history of teaching undergraduate courses, Jansen has been a tireless advocate and collaborator across the university to improve student success and teaching in lower division education.

In 2001, he became involved with PhysTEC, an association of institutions dedicated to improving and promoting K-12 physics and physical science teacher education. From 2004-06, Jansen collaborated with a retired high school physics teacher to improve lower division physics education and colleague Dedra Demaree to develop the current physics studio model used in introductory undergraduate physics courses. He has been teaching in that program as a team member since 2015. He has worked with Associate Professor of Science Education Emily van Zee on educational programs for future teachers.

The consummate teacher, Jansen has been deeply involved in transforming the larger, lower division classes with evidence-based innovations like the flipped classroom and active engagement. These innovative teaching methods have increased student confidence and significantly reduced the dropout rate. He has advocated throughout the years to expand the use of studio discussions in engineering physics courses. Now physics students are able to work together to solve conceptual problems.

Jansen’s past research focused on computational physics and supported by grant funding of $1.5 million. He has also been PI or Co-PI on educational grants totaling more than $1.5 million throughout his career.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Dutch Physical Society (NNV) and a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Jansen earned a bachelor degree in physics and a master’s and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the Institute of Solid State Physics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University.

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