A familiar face has returned to the Tickle College of Engineering (TCE), as Associate Professor Emeritus J.A.M. “Toby” Boulet has agreed to come out of retirement to serve as the college’s interim associate dean for academic and student affairs, effective immediately.
“I am grateful that Toby has agreed to serve the college in this interim position, I believe him to be well suited for the role,” said TCE Dean Matthew Mench, the Wayne T. Davis Dean’s Chair in the college. “He has decades of experience in service roles throughout the college and university, and served many years as associate department head with responsibilities for student and curricular matters for the department of mechanical aerospace and biomedical engineering. He has also served as an ABET certified reviewer, and is extremely well versed on university policy and procedures. He will be able to step right in and keep things moving forward. Toby is also a wonderful human being who cares deeply about maintaining our high expectations for quality of education our students receive. I am thankful for his willingness to put a pause on his retirement to serve the college and its students during this time of transition.”
Boulet is a longtime fixture of the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, serving there from 1985 until his official retirement in 2018, though he continued to teach after that. As a sign of gratitude for his service, the department’s service award was renamed the “J.A.M. Boulet Outstanding Service Award.”
“I have an affinity for this college that built during my time on the faculty here, so I was eager to help when I was asked to take on this interim role,” said Boulet. “We have a long history here of helping the engineers of tomorrow reach their full potential, and I’m happy to take on a position that can directly assist them on that journey.”
Boulet earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UT in engineering science (1971-1975), before earning his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 1984.
After returning to UT as a faculty member, Boulet served in several roles of note and gained various accolades over the years, including being named MABE’s outstanding faculty member in 2008.
Those accomplishments include terms as faculty senate president, on the UT system faculty council, and as a faculty member on the UT Board of Trustees. During several terms on the faculty senate in Knoxville, he served on the budget committee, the faculty affairs committee, the faculty appeals committee and the executive council.
In his new role as interim associate dean, he will be leading the office that oversees the college’s Cook Grand Challenge Honors Program, Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program, engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, Engineering Ambassadors and College Tours, Office of Advising, Office of Student Success, and Study Abroad Programs.