UGA names first engineering college dean

The University of Georgia has selected the first dean to lead the new College of Engineering.

Donald Leo, a Virginia Tech vice president and former associate dean for research and graduate studies at the school’s engineering college, will start July 1.

UGA established its engineering college last year as part of an ambitious — and at times controversial — plan to expand its engineering degrees.

The State Board of Regents narrowly approved UGA’s request to offer degrees in civil, electrical and mechanical engineering in 2010.

The vote came after heated debate, as lawmakers and others questioned the move saying the degrees are too similar to what’s taught at Georgia Tech. Others challenged the logic in adding expensive degree programs while the state struggles financially.

President Michael Adams and others argued that new programs are needed to meet student demand and address a shortage of engineers.