05. 01. 2024
Dr. Edgar Arriaga, headshot
Dr. Edgar Arriaga, Associate Dean for Faculty Initiatives. Photo credit: Melanie Lex

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Dr. Edgar Arriaga as the new Associate Dean for Faculty Initiatives at the Graduate School, effective June 3, 2024.

In this newly established quarter-time role, Dr. Arriaga will be instrumental in our ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive and equitable environment for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. His expertise will support the cultivation of excellence in graduate education and postdoctoral training, aligning closely with the mission and impact goals of both the Graduate School and the University of Minnesota.

As a key member of our leadership team, Dr. Arriaga brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of effecting positive change. He has an impressive record of service in the most challenging environments, where change has seemed impossible due to historical, long-held, systematic barriers. Dr. Arriaga is a natural negotiator, creative strategist, and idealistic yet pragmatic agent of change.   

"I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Edgar Arriaga to help UMN scholars excel in their role as graduate faculty and postdoctoral advisors as well as to improve graduate education at the University more generally," says Scott Lanyon, Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Education. "Edgar has been a great Graduate School partner, a tremendous advocate for graduate education generally, and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion specifically."  

Dr. Arriaga is the Northey Professor in the Department of Chemistry with additional appointments in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Biochemistry Molecular Biology and Biophysics.

In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Arriaga has consistently demonstrated passion and expertise through extensive involvement in various University initiatives. A few highlights of his past and current engagements include: 

Post Baccalaureate Education

  • A mentor to over fifty graduate students and postdocs from the U.S. and around the world
  • Former Member of the Graduate School Advisory Board, including two terms as Chair

Service to the University

  • Chair of the University Campus Safety Committee
  • Former Chair or member of numerous search committees across the institution
  • Former Mentor for the President’s Distinguished Faculty Mentor Program
  • Mental health advocate

Promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Member of the organizing committee for the Diversity Community of Practice
  • Faculty Fellow in the Office of Equity and Diversity
  • Advisor to the Association of First Generation Graduate Students
  • Former Co-Advisor to the Council for the Advancement of Underrepresented Scientists and Engineers
  • Advisor to the of the student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Dean’s Fellow in the College of Science and Engineering
  • Former Co-Lead of CSE’s Diversity & Inclusivity Alliance

We are excited to welcome Dr. Arriaga to the Graduate School and look forward to growing our support for faculty initiatives at the University of Minnesota. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to him as he embarks on this new role.