Paul Lindseth to step down as dean of UND Aerospace

Lindseth, who has led the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences since 2016, will return to faculty role

Paul Lindseth has been with UND since 1985, when he served as a flight instructor following nearly 10 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. Before becoming dean in 2016, Lindseth was also assistant chair of the aviation department, interim chair of space studies and assistant and associate dean for academics at UND Aerospace. Image courtesy of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Paul Lindseth, dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota, has announced that he will be stepping down from the position on Dec. 31, 2020.

Upon the transition, Lindseth will return to his position as professor within the Department of Aviation faculty.

Lindseth, who’s held a variety of positions at UND throughout a 32-plus year career, was announced as dean in 2016 after a nationwide search. He’s the third person to hold the position in the School’s 52-year history.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve as dean,” Lindseth said. “Our College is a truly remarkable organization, and its stature in the world of aerospace wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of our dedicated faculty, staff and students.”

Lindseth’s first position at UND was as a flight instructor in 1985 following nearly 10 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. At UND, in the John D. Odegard School, Lindseth has also served as assistant chair of the aviation department, assistant dean for academics, interim chair of space studies and associate dean for academics.

Odegard’s vision

Throughout his career, Lindseth’s flight experience totals more than 4,100 hours between fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. He maintained his certification as a flight instructor until 2010.

As dean, Lindseth ushered in 2018’s 50th Anniversary of the creation of the School under its namesake, John Odegard. Lindseth remarked that Odegard’s vision has continued to be a guiding principle through his time at the University.

“At the first workshop I attended when I joined the faculty, Odegard said that our goal was to provide the highest quality of education for our students at a reasonable cost,” Lindseth recalled. “Throughout the many years since, that has stuck with the organization and served us well.”

Throughout Lindseth’s tenure as dean, the John D. Odegard School has maintained an accident-free flight training environment at UND Flight Operations while logging record-setting flight training hours. The four-year period has also seen record enrollments with more than 1,900 aviation majors and more than 2,200 students overall.

“I’m proud of the fact that we’ve maintained an outstanding safety record in our flight training, since that accomplishment takes a great deal of effort by everyone in the entire organization,” Lindseth said.

During a joint signing, Byung Il Yoon, vice president of Korean Air’s Flight Crew Training Center (left) and Paul Lindseth codified the first international career pathway program for students. UND archival image.

Career pathways

Under Lindseth’s tenure, the Department of Aviation rapidly expanded its number of career pathway programs for students. Those programs now extend to most regional and major airlines, including the first UND has established with an international carrier.

Amid faculty members’ research activities, visits from national figures such as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force Commander Gen. John Raymond and strong relationships with North Dakota’s congressional delegation, Lindseth sees a bright future for how the School can serve national and international needs.

Lindseth said he takes great pride in having served as dean of the Odegard School, the faculty, staff and students of which have created an organization with a world-class reputation. The creation of the U.S. Space Force and advancement of space travel, as well as UND’s continued leadership in the aviation industry, will provide even more opportunities for students, he said.

“I would like to thank Paul for his good work as associate dean and most recently as dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences,” said Tom DiLorenzo, UND provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has set a very positive foundation for the School’s future planning and greatness.”

DiLorenzo indicated that a national search would be taking place to find Lindseth’s permanent replacement as dean.

Fellow pilots

Debbie Storrs, UND senior vice provost and incoming interim provost, shared Lindseth’s perspective that the next dean will have an important opportunity to leverage past successes of the School to work with faculty in creating a vision for the future.

“I have enjoyed working with Paul, particularly given his commitment to collaborating with other deans and the Office of the Provost to support student success,” Storrs said. “I know he will continue to make a positive impact on the College through his research and teaching and mentoring of students.”

Incoming UND President Andy Armacost agreed. “In my short time at UND, I have truly appreciated Paul’s far-reaching contributions to the university and how he has made the Odegard School a national leader in aerospace education,” said Armacost, who’ll begin his full-time duties as president on June 1.

Said Interim UND President Joshua Wynne, “It has been a real pleasure to have worked with Paul during my 15 years here at UND.

“As fellow pilots, University of Michigan graduates, faculty members, and deans, we have shared ideas and worked together productively on any number of projects and events.” Wynne continued. “I was confident that Paul would turn out to be the outstanding dean that he has, as I chaired the national search process that resulted in his selection.

“As UND interim president, I wish him all the best in the future and thank him for his innumerable contributions to the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and UND.”