Sacramento State sheds little light on high-profile dean’s absence

Emir Jose Macari, the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at Sacramento State, one of the university’s most prestigious programs, has quietly gone on administrative leave.

Charles Gossett, who was serving as the interim provost, sent a memo to Macari’s staff and the department chairs in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences on Dec. 3 telling them not to contact the dean. “I do not have an estimated time frame for his return,” Gossett stated in the memo. “During his leave, he should not be contacted for work-related matters, nor should new issues be referred to him.”

University officials would not say whether or not the leave was punitive or whether it was paid or unpaid.

Laureen O’ Hanlon will serve as the administrator for the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences while Macari is on leave, according to the memo. She has been the interim associate dean of the College of Continuing Education since January. Before that she was the chair of the department of Speech and Pathology.

Macari, 56, of Carmichael has been the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences since 2006. The program serves 2,900 students and has 100 faculty members, according to the university’s web site.

The dean has held many prestigious posts. He is a member of the Alfred E. Alquist Seismic Safety Commission, which investigates earthquakes and recommends policies to reduce risk. Macari was first nominated to the commission in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and again in 2013 by Gov. Jerry Brown. His term is set to end in May 2017.

Macari also helped President Bill Clinton draft his science policy document – “Science in the National Interest” in 1994 – and was inducted into the Mexican Academy of Science in 2006, according to information from the university.

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