Kenneth W Henderson

by Greg St. Martin

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity has appointed Ken­neth W. Hen­derson dean of the Col­lege of Sci­ence, effec­tive July 1, 2016. A scholar of syn­thetic and struc­tural inor­ganic chem­istry, Hen­derson is a pro­fessor and chair of the Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Bio­chem­istry at the Uni­ver­sity of Notre Dame.

Hen­derson also serves as senior assis­tant provost for inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion at Notre Dame, a role in which he is a member of a lead­er­ship team that develops under­grad­uate pro­grams and strategic inter­na­tional part­ner­ships for research col­lab­o­ra­tions. As a provost’s fellow from 2011 to 2013, he led the devel­op­ment of guide­lines for appointing and pro­moting research faculty.

Ken brings great expe­ri­ence in growing research and external funding in a pri­vate uni­ver­sity,” said James C. Bean, provost and senior vice pres­i­dent for aca­d­emic affairs at North­eastern. “He also has great vision for how the Col­lege of Sci­ence can power the broader uni­ver­sity mission.”

Hen­derson chairs the Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Bio­chem­istry with an oper­a­tional budget of $6.5 mil­lion and receives about $19 mil­lion in annual research awards. He over­sees three research core facil­i­ties, and leads a depart­ment of more than 60 fac­ulty mem­bers, 20 staff, 36 post­doc­toral researchers, and 187 grad­uate students.

From 2011 to 2013, Hen­derson also led an advi­sory group for the uni­ver­sity deans, vice pres­i­dents, and provost to develop and imple­ment strate­gies to improve the vis­i­bility and standing of the uni­ver­sity among its aca­d­emic peers.

Hen­derson joined the Notre Dame fac­ulty in 2002 as asso­ciate pro­fessor, and ascended to full pro­fessor in 2007. His research inter­ests are in organometallic chem­istry, mate­rials chem­istry, and mol­e­c­ular elec­tronics. One par­tic­ular area of focus is cre­ating mate­rials that will be of use in next gen­er­a­tion com­pu­ta­tional tech­nolo­gies. From 2009 to 2013 he served as asso­ciate director of Notre Dame’s Center for Sus­tain­able Energy, an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary enter­prise ded­i­cated to energy-​​related research and education.

Prior to Notre Dame, Hen­derson was a Royal Society Uni­ver­sity Research Fellow and later a senior lecturer—a rank equiv­a­lent to asso­ciate pro­fessor in the U.S.—at the Uni­ver­sity of Strath­clyde in the U.K. He did his post­doc­toral research work at Brown University.

Hen­derson is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chem­istry, and a member of the Amer­ican Chem­ical Society and the Council for Chem­ical Research. He has co-​​authored more than 100 sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tions, and his research has received funding from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion, the Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, the Depart­ment of Energy, the Royal Society, and many other promi­nent orga­ni­za­tions and entities.

I am delighted to join North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and the Col­lege of Sci­ence,” Hen­derson said. “North­eastern holds a unique posi­tion in the U.S. with a dis­tinc­tive vision as a global, expe­ri­en­tial, research inten­sive uni­ver­sity, and I am excited to be a part of the team in such a dynamic envi­ron­ment. I look for­ward to working with the out­standing fac­ulty, staff, stu­dents, and friends of the col­lege in ful­filling the mis­sion of the university.”

Hen­derson was born in Scot­land and is a nat­u­ral­ized U.S. cit­izen. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a doc­torate, both in chem­istry, from the Uni­ver­sity of Strathclyde.

Hen­derson suc­ceeds Jon Tilly, who has been serving as interim dean and will con­tinue that role until Hen­derson tran­si­tions into his new posi­tion at Northeastern.

Originally published in news@Northeastern on May 23, 2016.