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Where do you go if you are standing in the Towne Building and all of a sudden, can't figure out why your hollandaise sauce failed? Try Room 107. New Engineering Dean Gregory Farrington may be able to help. Farrington, who assumed the seven-year deanship in July, is an expert in both culinary and material science. According to John Keenan, associate Engineering dean for undergraduate education, Farrington annually delivers a speech on the scientific basis for gourmet cooking. And others anticipate that the new dean will bring his creativity and enthusiasm from the kitchen to the boardroom. In an interview this summer, Farrington said his main focus as the new dean would be on supporting students and making their experience at the University more fun. He added that increased faculty interaction with students is essential for reducing the attrition in the school. "We have strayed too far from undergraduates and the undergraduate experience," he added. "The University can be big in opportunity but does not have to be big in feeling." Farrington said although his push for improving students' experience may be "Pollyanna-ish," he believes it is possible, adding that he wants to ensure that all departments -- including those in the College -- "take care" of Engineering students. The new dean, who has been at the University for 11 years, said a commitment to science education is crucial to keep the nation competitive with other powers in technological development. "Societally and economically, we're going to croak unless we have strong science and technology bases," Farrington said. He also said this summer that proposals to create a separate school for the Computer and Information Science Department "make no sense intellectually or administratively." He said the school should concentrate on unifying all its students and departments in order to provide a complete college experience. Former Engineering Dean Joseph Bordogna, now an Electrical Engineering professor in the school, said Farrington would bring his expertise and pride in the school to the position. "He was an excellent choice," he concluded. Fifth-year Chemical Engineering graduate student Greg Jones said yesterday that Farrington's appointment is "a great opportunity for him to make the school better." "My perception is he is a good leader," Jones said. "We all like him." And Jean Farrington, the new dean's wife of 20 years and head of Van Pelt Library's Serials Department, said yesterday that it was "attraction at first sight" when the two met almost 23 years ago. She added that living with the new dean is entertaining, saying that "he can see the humor in almost any situation." "He likes furry creatures," she said. "We have a collection of stuffed aminals that are supposedly my son's . . . He gives them names, backgrounds and histories." Farrington received his bachelor's degree from Clarkson University and pursued his doctorate at Harvard University. He served as a University professor of material science and chaired the department until his appointment as director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter in 1987.

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