UIU announces new School of Science and Mathematics dean

Dr. Richard E. Bleil, Dean of the UIU School of Science and Mathematics

Upper Iowa University has named Dr. Richard E. Bleil of Rapid City, S.D., as the dean of the UIU School of Science and Mathematics. Bleil officially began his duties Friday, July 1. Professor of Science Scott Figdore will resume his role as a fulltime faculty member after serving as the school’s dean for 3 1/2 years.

“From the moment I set foot on campus, what attracted me to Upper Iowa was seeing how dedicated the faculty, staff, and administration were to the students and in providing a quality education. I was also absolutely thrilled with the University’s commitment in providing educational opportunities to our military servicemen and servicewomen,” said Bleil. “Upper Iowa University’s (self-paced) correspondence courses also open up a number of other doors to all learners. Anyone who wants to turn their life around deserves an opportunity to do so. UIU’s dedication to outreach is phenomenal. It can’t be beat.

“Among my first priorities is to simply learn what are the desires and goals of the faculty and administration. In the first year, I want to see what everyone likes or dislikes about the UIU School of Science and Mathematics. Then, we will see what direction we all want to go in reaching our goals most effectively,” he added.

Bleil comes to UIU from his position as director of the Rapid City Police Department Forensic Lab, having served in that capacity for nearly four years. In that time Bleil was instrumental in securing international accreditation for the Forensics Lab. He also served as adjunct professor at National American University, Western Dakota Technical Institute, and the University of South Dakota.

Previously, Bleil was a professor at Dakota State University where he created and directed both the physical science and the forensic science programs. Additionally, he taught both organic chemistry and biochemistry at Dakota State and Kettering College (Ohio) of Medical Arts.

In addition to serving as president of Bleil Laboratories for five years, he also gained industry experience as a chemist for Sioux Valley Environmental, PEI Inc., and Environmental Health Research and Testing.

Bleil earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, and his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from Boston College. He also served as a postdoctoral assistant at Purdue University and as a visiting scientist at Harvard University, and conducted research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Upper Iowa University has introduced two new deans to the faculty, staff, students, and Peacock family in 2016. In January, UIU announced Edward Huffstetler, Ph.D., as dean of Upper Iowa University’s School of Liberal Arts. Huffstetler most recently served as associate dean for academic affairs at Bridgewater College, a private, four-year liberal arts college in Bridgewater, Va.

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