Q&A: Sundaram Narayanan, provost of Wright State University


Sundaram Narayanan has been a rising star since arriving at Wright State University in 1994, and now he says he’s ready to take the school into the future.

Narayanan, who helped create and lead the Wright State Research Institute, said demands on engineers and computer sciences are shifting in a globally competitive market, and Ohio needs the brainpower to adapt.

Born in India, the former College of Engineering and Computer Science dean at Wright State was promoted this month to university provost, where he took over duties as the university’s chief operating officer and chief academic officer. Narayanan says engineering expertise is as integral to business in Ohio as ever.

Q: How has your engineering background affected your professional development?

A: My background has been in industrial and systems engineering. I think it helps you in terms of thinking analytically, and with problem solving skills, and thinking about complex and coordinates systems and so on. When you look at the university, it’s truly a complex and dynamic system, so I think it prepared me well for analyzing a problem from multiple perspectives and seeing the connections, and all of that.

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