Engineering Dean David McLean announces plans to retire next summer

David McLean
David McLean

Editor’s note: The following letter is being shared with the campus community by Interim Provost Janice Nerger.

Dear Ram Community: 

Dean David McLean recently announced his intent to retire at the end of the fiscal year. I want to share my gratitude for Dave’s service and contributions as dean, and my immense respect for his measured, strategic leadership style that has elevated the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering to great successes.

Dave has served as dean since 2013, joining CSU from Washington State University, where he served as professor and department head of Civil and Environmental Engineering. But he stepped in the door with a deep connection to our Ram community as an alumnus who received his M.S. in the then-College of Engineering. During his tenure as dean, the college received a $53.3 million commitment in 2016 from alumnus Walter Scott, Jr., the largest gift in the University’s history. The monumental gesture led to the College of Engineering being renamed in Scott’s honor. Scott contributed an additional $11.4 million before he passed away in 2021.

In an interview last year with Engineering student Michelle Hefner, she asked Dave to reflect upon what he considered some of the watershed moments during his tenure. He talked about the many opportunities enabled for scholarships and programs through the generosity of Walter Scott. Dave also discussed the college’s focus on student success, and concerted efforts to help students learn the skills they needed to be successful in their studies and pursue their dreams of becoming engineers.

Dave also made diversity and inclusive excellence initiatives a priority across the college. He hired the first person to hold the position of assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in an academic unit at CSU, Melissa Burt. Working with Melissa and others on his leadership team, Dave has ensured the college serves its students and society to create a better world for future generations.

Dave has spent his career looking for ways to use engineering to improve the world and solve global problems. He has been recognized with numerous regional and national awards for his research, teaching, advising and consulting across decades of achievements in engineering design, education and research. We have been fortunate to have the benefit of his character, expertise and leadership in service at CSU.



Janice Nerger
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs