Giovanna Guidoboni, pictured here in this undated photo will be the new dean of the University of Maine's engineering college and will start the role in January 2023. Credit: Courtesy University of Maine

The University of Maine has hired a dean who will oversee a college that doesn’t technically exist — yet.

The university on Tuesday named Giovanna Guidoboni, an associate dean for research and professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri, as the next dean of UMaine’s college of engineering.

However, her real role will be the inaugural dean of a new statewide engineering and computer science college that has yet to be approved by the University of Maine System trustees.

The new Maine College of Engineering, Computing, and Information Science will house engineering programs from both the University of Southern Maine and the flagship University of Maine in Orono as well as UMaine’s computer science program. The cornerstone of the new college will be the $78 million Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center that opened last week.

The UMaine System board of trustees was supposed to discuss the approval of the new college during previous meetings but ultimately didn’t. 

That’s why Guidoboni was hired as the next dean of UMaine’s engineering college and not the new Maine College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science, UMaine spokesperson Margaret Nagle said.

However, the university expects the new college to come before the board this fall and with its formal approval, Guidoboni’s title will become dean of the Maine College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science, Nagle said.

Guidoboni is replacing Dana Humphrey, who has led UMaine’s engineering college for 36 years and is retiring this week.

Guidoboni has been at the University of Missouri since 2017 and has joint appointments in electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics. Her research at the university focuses on mathematical modeling and data science as they are applied to engineering and life sciences.

Before joining the faculty in Missouri, Guidoboni was a professor at the University of Houston, Indiana University, Purdue University, and the Université de Strasbourg in France.

Guidoboni has a doctorate in mathematics and a master of science in engineering of materials from the University of Ferrara in Italy.

Guidoboni will assume the role on Jan.16, 2023, and will earn an annual salary of $250,000.

Starting Thursday, Mohamad Musavi, a professor and associate dean of UMaine’s engineering college, will serve as interim dean until Guidoboni starts.

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...