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New Mexico State University

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Jay Jordan appointed dean and director of Physical Science Laboratory

Jay Jordan, interim dean and director of New Mexico State University's Physical Science Laboratory since last November, will drop the "interim" from his title July 1.

NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores announced this week that Jordan has been selected for the permanent appointment as leader of the research laboratory.

"Dr. Jordan has done a superlative job of leading PSL for the past seven months," Flores said. "We were pleased that he decided to offer himself as a candidate for the permanent appointment, because he is uniquely qualified."

The Physical Science Laboratory, established in 1946 to support rocket testing at White Sands Missile Range, is a $50 million enterprise with about 340 regular employees. Its core activities are aerospace- and defense-related research and development initiatives sponsored by government contracts and partnerships with private industry.

Under Jordan's leadership PSL has been reorganized with the goals of streamlining its administrative structure while aligning the lab more closely with the academic mission of the university.

"We want to create more joint appointments for faculty members and PSL staff members, and increase student involvement and the number of student co-ops," Jordan said.

Jordan is a product of PSL co-ops himself, having worked at PSL tracking stations in American Samoa and in the Republic of Seychelles as an engineering student. When he graduated in 1970, he became a field engineer for PSL, then chief of the lab's space payloads section.

He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at NMSU. In addition to his work at PSL, he has been a faculty member, head of the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and dean of the College of Engineering. After retiring from the university in 2002, he worked for Northrop Grumman Corp. in contract management and program management.