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Chemist, professor, research leader Peter Dorhout is on the move

May 16, 2011

Peter Dorhout, vice provost for Graduate Studies, assistant vice president for Research and professor of chemistry since 1991, likes to exercise a certain kind of leadership: "I have a knack for moving barriers out of the way and letting people do their work."

Carolyn and Peter Dorhout at the 1870 Club dinner in 2009. Legacy at CSU

Dorhout's leadership has paid off at CSU. Among many accomplishments, he’s been instrumental in creating the new Colorado School of Public Health with CSU, CU-Denver, and the University of Northern Colorado.

The multi-institutional school provides training, research, and community service to actively address public health issues including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries.

As vice provost, Dorhout facilitated the creation of four new doctoral and six new master’s degree programs. He also was involved in creating and leading CSU's China Initiative and in leading the development of partnerships between CSU and higher education institutions in India.

And there’s more. In 2002, newly named as associate dean for research in the College of Natural Sciences, he became involved in creating the Undergraduate Research Institute and served as a faculty mentor for the award-winning local chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

During his tenure at CSU, Dorhout helped develop the materials chemistry program, co-authored 114 manuscripts, three book chapters, and managed more than $13.2 million in extramural funding to support research and student recruiting and retention initiatives.

Another place, another life

On Jan. 1, 2012, Dorhout will move his leadership and teaching expertise to a new position as dean of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University.

“Colorado State University has been a fabulous place to grow, learn and build a career over the past 20 years, so leaving this home will be difficult,” he says. “However, the chance to help lead a vibrant and enthusiastic college like arts and sciences at K-State is perfect."

Earlier this spring, Dorhout accepted a temporary position as provost at CSU-Pueblo. As part of his pledge to CSU-Pueblo and the CSU System, he will remain at this post until the end of 2011.  As he was leaving Fort Collins for this assignment, he was named an Oliver P. Pennock Service awardee for 2011.

Dorhout earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research specialties include thin film materials, environmental chemistry and actinide and radiochemistry.

Dorhout's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. State Department. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Council of Graduate Schools and the American Chemical Society, where he serves on the Board of Directors.