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OU Names New Dean of the OU College of Engineering

OU Names New Dean of the OU College of Engineering

March 09, 2020

The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of John Klier, Ph.D., as dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering.

The University of Oklahoma announced today the appointment of John Klier, Ph.D., as dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering, pending OU Board of Regents’ approval. He will begin his role at OU July 1.

Klier will join OU from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he serves as professor and head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Before serving on the faculty at UMass Amherst in 2015, Klier worked for more than 25 years in the private sector with Dow Chemical Co. Klier is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. 

OU conducted a national search for the position, attracting more than 50 highly qualified applicants. The search committee – made up of 11 members representing faculty, graduate students, the Gallogly College of Engineering Board of Visitors, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate College at Tulsa – interviewed eight semifinalists and invited two finalists to campus. The search solicited feedback from all Gallogly College of Engineering constituencies – faculty, staff, students and board members – as well as from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and other college deans, who met with each of the finalists.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Klier to the University of Oklahoma,” said OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. “His deep expertise in research and the pathways from discovery to commercialization will help forge strategic relationships between the University and state and industry leaders. He is an ideal choice to continue the trajectory of the College of Engineering as a world-changing leader in innovation, research and collaboration.” 

While at Dow, Klier worked in numerous areas of polymer, surfactant and colloid science. He held a number of technical management positions, culminating in his role as director of global research and development in the company’s performance materials and chemicals segment. In this position, he oversaw more than 400 employees in a global network of research and technical laboratories. In 2014, he was named Distinguished Fellow, the highest technical position at Dow.

“Through his work in the academy and beyond, Dr. Klier has a consistent record of excellence,” said Senior Vice President and Provost Kyle Harper, who also chaired the dean search committee. “As dean, his broad technical expertise, proven leadership record, and commitment to collaboration with campus and external stakeholders will be a valuable asset to the College of Engineering. He will inspire our students to seek innovative ways they can improve the human condition.”  

At Dow, Klier led research and development programs resulting in numerous commercialized new products and processes in the areas of new advanced coatings, consumer products, high performance adhesives for lightweight materials, advanced insulation, carbon fiber composites and electronic materials. 

His research activities at UMass Amherst involve high-performance environmentally friendly coatings, new strain stiffening materials, renewable and recyclable plastics, next-generation materials for optical applications, and new polymer colloids for targeted cancer therapy. He leads collaborations with companies from startups to major multinational manufacturers. 

Klier earned his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also attended Purdue University, where he earned his master’s degree and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

About the University of Oklahoma

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit