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After 15 years at the helm of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS), H. Ted Davis was looking forward to a change of pace. The department and its number-one-ranked chemical engineering program had flourished under his leadership, but Davis yearned to return to full-time teaching and research. Two months after leaving his post as head he got a change of pace—albeit not the one he was anticipating— when he accepted an unexpected offer to become the Institute of Technology’s 14th dean. Now, nine years later, Davis has stepped down as dean to fulfill that long-deferred goal and finish his career as professor, a position he calls “the best job at the University.” But his agile approach to new challenges, insatiable intellectual curiosity, and drive to get people working together have earned him a permanent place among the University’s most accomplished and admired leaders. >>

Peerless LEADER written by dea ne m o rris o n | photos by j o n atha n chap m a n

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