Jamie Payton
New Hire/Promotion

Temple University Professor to Lead NJIT’s College of Computing

New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has named Jamie Payton, professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University, to lead its Ying Wu College of Computing (YWCC) as dean beginning July 1.

YWCC is presently the largest college at NJIT and is a key element of NJIT’s drive to become a nexus of innovation under its new strategic plan. Its three departments, Computer Science, Data Science and Informatics, prepare students to enter burgeoning fields that also are research priorities of NJIT, such as software engineering, cybersecurity, information technology and artificial intelligence.

“Dean Payton will help create and advance a renewed, forward-looking vision for Ying Wu,” NJIT President Teik C. Lim said. “This vision will build upon our new strategic plan, the college’s strengths and its commitments to student success, impactful research and innovation.”

As dean, Dr. Payton will be charged with supporting the 2030 strategic plan by driving enrollment growth; deepening research and curricular partnerships with NJIT’s other colleges; further diversifying the student body, faculty and staff; and managing relationships with alumni, donors and corporations. The hire comes a month after NJIT unveiled a strategic plan that aims to make the university a nexus of innovation to serve the students of the future.

“I’m excited about leading the Ying Wu College of Computing into its next chapter, building on its strengths and prior successes, and bringing a fresh perspective and experience in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in computing,” Payton said.

As a chair at Temple, Payton launched new degree programs — including the first online master’s in its College of Science and Technology, in information science and technology — and became a national leader in initiatives that aim to introduce underrepresented students to computing and STEM, including providing K-12 and college students with learning opportunities around AI. To that end, she serves as the principal investigator and director of the STARS Computing Corps Alliance for Broadening Participation in Computing, which has been supported by more than $10 million from the National Science Foundation, and as co-principal investigator and director of broadening participation of the INVITE AI Institute, whose research is backed by a $19.5 million grant from the NSF.

Also at Temple, Payton led the development of a strategic plan to further diversify the pool of students pursuing computer-focused degrees. Core to that plan was an Inclusive Teaching Summit, new mentoring processes and a revision to the peer teaching review process.

“I am thrilled that Professor Payton will be joining us as the next dean of the Ying Wu College of Computing,” said NJIT Provost John Pelesko, to whom Payton will report. “Professor Payton brings tremendous leadership experience to the role as well as a major national presence in broadening participation in computing. I look forward to working with her as we write the next chapter in the history of YWCC.”

Pelesko led the search that attracted Payton, who has worked at Temple since 2016. She holds three degrees in computer science: a Ph.D. and master’s from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s from The University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

Earlier in her career, Payton was a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The research projects for which she has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator have been supported collectively by more than $40 million in external funding.

NJIT’s search also involved a committee of 15 administrators, educators and staffers and the advisory firm WittKieffer.

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