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Education leader Duderstadt to receive honorary degree

May 05, 2008

James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus at the University of Michigan and a leader in the changing landscape of higher education, will receive an honorary doctorate from ASU at the university’s May 8 commencement ceremony.

Duderstadt was president of the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1996. Since he stepped down, he has focused much of his attention on the future of higher education. He is widely acknowledged for his significant contributions to science, teaching and higher education.

For example, Duderstadt founded and is director of the Millennium project at Michigan, where he has helped explore the future of higher education and how it will meet the needs of coming generations of students. The Millennium project acts as an incubation center, where new paradigms concerning the fundamental missions of university teaching, research and outreach can be developed and tested.

Duderstadt’s teaching and research interests have spanned a wide range of subjects in science, mathematics and engineering, including work in such areas as nuclear fission reactors, thermonuclear fusion, high-powered lasers, computer simulation, science policy, higher education and information technology.

Duderstadt received his bachelor degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from Yale University in 1964, and his doctorate in engineering science and physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1967.

After a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1968.

Duderstadt became dean of the College of Engineering in 1981, and provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1986 before he was appointed president in 1988.

Duderstadt holds a faculty appointment as university professor of science and engineering, and he also directs Michigan’s program in science, technology and public policy.

Duderstadt has received numerous national awards for research, teaching and service activities, including the E.O. Lawrence Award for excellence in nuclear research; the Arthur Holly Compton Prize for outstanding teaching; the Reginald Wilson Award for national leadership in achieving diversity; and the National Medal of Technology for exemplary service to the nation. He has been elected to numerous societies, including the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science, Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi.

Duderstadt has served on or chaired numerous public and private boards, including the National Science Board; the Executive Council of the National Academy of Engineering, the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences; and the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy.