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LETU Engineering Dean Announces Intent to Step Down in 2011


LeTourneau University Dean of Engineering Tom Hellmuth announced today his plans to step down as the dean of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology at the end of May 2011 or when a new dean is named. A national search for a new dean will begin immediately. Fred Ritchey, Dean of the School of Aeronautical Science, will chair the search committee.

"Tom Hellmuth is a man of stalwart faith in God and has clearly heard a call from God to serve in a new way beyond LeTourneau University," said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. "He has agreed to continue serving as dean through the academic year ending in 2011 so we have adequate time to search for the next leader of the school."

Hellmuth came to LETU as a professor in 1998 and accepted the role of dean of the engineering school in 2002. He has led continuous improvement efforts at the school, resulting in reaffirmation of program accreditation for both engineering and engineering technology through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Hellmuth initiated important curriculum changes and most recently developed a civil engineering concentration and a Master of Science degree program. He also has been a leader in LETU's international partnership with Handong Global University.

Hellmuth said he began to sense God calling him into a new direction last spring during a spring break outreach with his family and made the decision public today after much counsel and prayer.

"God has done great things here at LeTourneau University and is continuing to work on this campus to accomplish His purposes, but His call for me and my family has been unmistakable," Hellmuth said. "God has given us a broken heart for the orphans in this world, and we look forward to showing His love to those who are in such deep need. We are excited to see what He has in store and know that the best place to be is in the center of His will."

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