Temares gears up for new year

Juggling two jobs, Lewis Temares drives his new convertible Lexus SC430 back and forth between two offices at UM. He’s both the dean of the College of Engineering and the vice president of Information Technology.

His accomplishments at UM have landed him a position among Computerworld Magazine’s Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2002. He was recognized for his focus on the immediate needs of the University, outstanding service to his diverse constituency, and for his long-term vision. In addition, the magazine ranked his IT department at UM first among all IT work places in the U.S.

“We’re doing some really good stuff here,” says Temares, who said he learned the value of customer service at an early age.

He started working at the age of four at his father’s grocery store on 7th Avenue and 149th Street. Even at that early age, he was taught that it is the customer that puts food on your table. He applies this customer service philosophy to students, faculty and staff.

“Everybody should be served,” Dean Temares said, “That’s why we’re here, that’s the whole purpose.”

For example, Temares offers a guarantee on undergraduate degrees from the College of Engineering. If engineering students can’t find a job six months after completing their undergraduate degree, he’ll give them a free year of graduate school. To date, no one has taken him up on this offer. This guarantee is unmatched by any other Engineering program in the U.S.

“I tell Engineering students, one reason to major in Engineering is to make money…if you get better grades, if you do internships, if you work with the community, you’ll make more money…and you want to make more money so that you can do more for society, because the more successful you are, the more you can give back,” Temares said.

Temares’ IT department provides UM’s telecommunications infrastructure. One of its most popular services is the wireless computer network, which enables students and faculty to walk around the Coral Gables campus freely with a notebook computer that doesn’t need a cord to be connected to the Internet.

To help Engineering students succeed in their first year, Temares created the Integrated Math, Physics and Communication program, as part of the 1994 campaign “Re-Engineering the College of Engineering”. IMPaCT integrates required classes across different disciplines with engineering classes. Since the program was created, it has helped to increase the freshmen retention rate 20 points.

The College of Engineering’s motto for fall 2002 is “Engineers Rock.” The motto embodies the dynamic personality of the dean, his staff, and Engineering students at UM. This motto says much about the fun and success of the revitalized School of Engineering.

Temares came to UM in 1980 after earning his doctorate in marketing and statistics from CUNY. Under his leadership, the department’s commitment to career development, workplace diversity and employee retention were factors that helped UM beat out billion dollar corporations like FedEx, to be named by Computerworld Magazine as the number one workplace in the U.S.