Mary Galvin to step down as dean of Notre Dame’s College of Science

Author: Ted Fox

Dean Mary Galvin 2 Feature

Mary Galvin, the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will step down from the position effective Dec. 31. Galvin, who has served as dean since August 2015, made the decision for health reasons.

“Since becoming dean, Mary has worked tirelessly to recruit world-class faculty members, increase support for students entering scientific fields and create new future-focused degree programs for our students,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost. “She also has gone out of her way in this, my first year at Notre Dame, to make me feel welcome not only as provost but also as a member of the faculty in the College of Science. While I was disappointed when she told me of her decision, I respect why she made it and fully support her.”

An accomplished scientist with extensive experience in the academic, government and private sectors, Galvin is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She came to Notre Dame from the National Science Foundation, where she had been director for the Division of Materials Research.

Among the highlights of Galvin’s tenure as dean of the College of Science has been the hiring of 80 faculty members, including the current directors of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development and the Eck Institute for Global Health. She oversaw the creation of interdisciplinary graduate programs in biophysics and, with the College of Engineering, materials science and engineering, as well as an online master’s program in data science.

Research funding awarded to the College of Science and its faculty topped $60 million in the 2020 fiscal year, a 46 percent increase compared to Galvin’s first year as dean. To ensure all undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research, she established a sliding scale for stipends so that students do not have to choose between participating in summer research or getting a job. She also has directed resources to better support low-income and first-generation students.

“My work as dean over the past five years has been enormously fulfilling,” Galvin said in a letter to the College of Science’s faculty and staff members. “I came to Notre Dame for the purpose of raising our research profile and enriching the experience for our undergraduates. It was only when I was in the role that I fully grasped the excellence of our University leaders and their dedication to our distinctive Catholic research university mission. Only then did I appreciate the extraordinary accomplishments of our students and outstanding faculty. And only then did I understand the commitment of staff members, department chairs and colleagues in the dean’s office to the work of the college.”

An interim dean will be appointed to lead the College of Science during the spring 2021 semester while an international search is conducted to identify Galvin’s successor.

Originally published by Ted Fox at on September 03, 2020.