Mind on UND

Hesham El-Rewini, named provost at Marymount University in Virginia, committed to ‘strong finish here’

Mark Kennedy, Harold Hamm, Hesham El Rewini

Hesham El-Rewini (front, second from right), dean of the College of Engineering & Mines, has accepted a position as provost of Marymount University in Virginia. And even though he’s leaving campus (in July), he’s not checking out just yet, he said. (Above) El-Rewini presents college benefactor Harold Hamm with a pullover that reads: Harold Hamm School of Geology & Geological Engineering. El Rewini and Hamm were joined by UND President Mark Kennedy, Vamegh Rasouli, petroleum engineering; and Stephen Nordeng, geology & geological engineering. UND archival photo.

Increasing college enrollment by 100 percent? Check.

Increasing college research expenditures by 100 percent? Check.

Increasing the college’s endowment by 300 percent? Check.

Moving from college dean to a university provost? Check.

It’s a logical next step, said Hesham El-Rewini, dean of the College of Engineering & Mines, who has accepted a position as provost of Marymount University in Arlington, Va.

“I have a strong passion for higher education and student success, and a deep appreciation for what higher education can offer to society and the world,” said El-Rewini, who has been at UND for 11 years. “I decided years ago I’d like to be an administrator to better serve and influence the direction of higher education.”

“Hesham has done a phenomenal job as Dean of Engineering & Mines,” said Tom DiLorenzo, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It is clear that he has the skills and passion to move on to a provost’s job, and I wish him all the best in the future. He will be sorely missed.”

Even though he’s leaving campus, he’s not checking out, El-Rewini said.

“The work we started 11 years ago is ongoing and I will continue it until my last day,” El-Rewini said. “I plan to have a strong finish here at UND.

El-Rewini added that he has built a strong leadership team, which will be able to continue the College’s growth and success.

“The members of the team are empowered to engage, give feedback, explore new ideas and make decisions,” he said. “I’m confident the transition will be very smooth, and there will be continuity of the work. Our very capable faculty and staff will continue the journey, implement the Strategic Plan, and continue improving.”

El-Rewini has been engineering dean at UND since 2008. Photo by Caulfield Studios.

Record of accomplishment

El-Rewini began his tenure at UND in 2008. Under his leadership, the enrollment increased by 100 percent, online enrollment rose by 140 percent, retention improved from 75 percent to 81 percent in five years, annual research expenditures increased by more than 100 percent, and the College endowment increased by more than 300 percent.

The College added a petroleum engineering program, which now enrolls more than 200 students. He guided the College through the construction of the $15.5 million Collaborative Energy Complex, which was funded through private donations and nearly $4 million from the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund. UND has also announced plans to invest $10 million over five years to hire computational science research faculty to bolster the University’s standing in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cyber security. Those faculty will be housed in a renovated Babcock Hall, which will also be the new home of the new Big Data hub.

“The College has witnessed unprecedented growth and success and gained the trust of alumni and the community,” he said. “This would not have been possible without our hardworking faculty and staff, dedicated students, and the wonderful members of the College’s Executive Board, all who I am privileged to call my friends.”

In addition to his work as dean, El-Rewini served as senior vice provost between 2017 and 2018.

“I really enjoyed working with the teams I led in the registrar’s office, Institutional Effectiveness & Research, UND IT, and Student Academic Services,” El-Rewini said. He added that he equally enjoyed working with faculty from across the colleges as he oversaw faculty affairs.

“As a provost, I will be able to expand the scope of my service and contribution to cover units beyond my own college,” he said.

“I will always be grateful for the opportunities that UND afforded me and will leave with many fond memories and a sense of optimism about the future of the University.”