Orange Alert

A&S Celebrates Exceptional Career of Dean Emerita Karin Ruhlandt

Ruhlandt, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, is renowned for her work with highly reactive metals.

May 1, 2024, by Dan Bernardi

Dean Karin Ruhlandt at a lectern
Karin Ruhlandt, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Dean Emerita of A&S, will retire after a three decade-long career at Syracuse University.a

Karin Ruhlandt, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Dean Emerita of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), is retiring at the conclusion of the 2023-24 academic year. In her three decades at Syracuse University, Ruhlandt established a legacy as an accomplished scholar, mentor, leader and recognized expert within her field of inorganic chemistry. Her cutting-edge research explored the chemistry of highly reactive metals and their applications in areas such as computer memory and bone therapeutics. A testament to the significance of her work, she brought more than $10 million in sponsored research to the University and published more than 150 papers, book chapters and reviews.

Mathew Maye, department chair of chemistry says, “Karin not only built her own career at Syracuse but was also deeply involved and interested in training and mentoring junior faculty across campus. We’ll miss her expertise in chemistry and crystallography in the department, as well as her leadership.”

In acknowledgement of her achievements both in the classroom and the lab, she was appointed Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in 2009 — currently the only female on campus to receive such an honor in the sciences and engineering.

Ruhlandt trained more than 20 Ph.D. students, dozens of master’s students and hundreds of undergraduate students during her tenure at Syracuse. She also served as chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2009 to 2014. Through her commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and research, Ruhlandt served for many years as director and principal investigator (PI) of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She was also the director and PI of a National Science Foundation-funded undergraduate exchange program in chemistry between Syracuse University and the Graz University of Technology in Austria. In addition, Ruhlandt was PI on four NSF instrument grants, bringing in major research equipment, that is available campus wide, to the chemistry department.

Among her awards and honors, Ruhlandt received a Fulbright Fellowship (2013), a Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence from Syracuse University (2012) and has served as a visiting professor at Graz University of Technology (2013), Monash University, Australia (2003) and the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2003).

As Dean of A&S from 2015 to 2022, Ruhlandt helped to raise the research profile of the College and led several initiatives to promote collaboration and support faculty and student retention. Among her contributions, she improved opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students and faculty, particularly through programs including SUSTAIN, ACS-SEED, ADVANCE, WISE and others; increased funding for undergraduate research; developed a number of new interdisciplinary programs with partnering schools and colleges; and established a unique student advising paradigm that connects academic and career advising to optimize student retention and career preparedness.

Following her retirement from Syracuse, Ruhlandt will assume the role of Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean at the University of Toronto Scarborough beginning in July 2024. She will also serve as a professor in the University’s Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences.


Karin Ruhlandt Distinguished Professor

Media Contact

Dan Bernardi