Dr. Arash Mafi: Executive Dean of the College!

Dr. Arash Mafi is the new — and first — Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. We let him settle into his new role for a week, then asked a few questions to get to know him better. 

What excites you most about KU and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences?  

I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve the students, faculty, and staff of the College and to help guide the largest school at KU. I’m also excited to be a part of KU’s strong tradition and its bright future. As you all have already figured out, the College is filled with possibilities for students and I am honored to be a part of it.  

What do you do for fun?  

Outside of work, I enjoy reading books on the history of physics, and more recently, on the history and future of academic enterprise. I also enjoy hiking and am excited to hit the trails at Clinton Lake and explore other state parks nearby. 

What is your favorite thing about being a professor/researcher?  

The students. Absolutely, the students.  

What inspires you?  

I am inspired by people who are striving to excel. In a university setting, it’s the faculty who are pushing forward in their research, continuing to improve their teaching, and are consistently learning and serving KU. It is the staff members who innovate and take that extra step.  

If you could invite three people to dinner (dead or alive), who would it be and why? 

The saying “Never meet your heroes” came to mind with this question, but I decided to go with all deceased people for nostalgia’s sake.  

  • James Clerk Maxwell, Physicist – I’d invite him because I admire the breadth of his work and the elegance in his study. 
  • Vannevar Bush, Scientist & Science Administrator – I would want to talk to him about his ideas on the future of research and scholarship enterprise. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi, Social Reformer – This one speaks for itself.  

Thank you Dr. Mafi! 

Dr. Mafi has already fallen in love with Lawrence and our beautiful campus. We can’t wait for you to meet him and give him even more reason to love being here!