Meet Chancellor Deba Dutta

Collaborative Leader with a Vision for UM-Flint

Chancellor Debasish Dutta

Debasish Dutta’s tenure as the eighth chancellor of the University of Michigan-Flint began on August 1, 2019. As chancellor, he serves as the chief executive officer of the UM-Flint campus and as an executive officer of the University of Michigan.

Dedication to Higher Education

Chancellor Dutta came to UM-Flint after serving as chancellor of Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He led the flagship campus – a public research university with a $1.6 billion annual budget – by working effectively with legislators, business leaders, and alumni to create institutional momentum around academic excellence, student success, and affordability.

Before Rutgers, Chancellor Dutta served at Purdue University as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. He helped increase graduation rates, enhance student advising, and oversaw the expansion of programs in engineering, computer science, business, nursing, and technology. As Purdue’s chief diversity officer, he helped develop and launch a strategic plan and increased faculty of color and the enrollment of underrepresented students.

Prior to joining Purdue in 2014, Chancellor Dutta served as associate provost and dean of the graduate college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was the Gutgsell Endowed Professor of mechanical science and engineering and served as interim vice-chancellor for research. He helped develop new interdisciplinary programs, fostered new research collaborations across colleges, and established a comprehensive program for the assessment of quality and effectiveness of doctoral programs at Illinois.

Service in Government Roles & Creating Partnerships

Chancellor Dutta worked in leadership roles in the federal government at the National Science Foundation for three years. He was an IGERT program director and an acting director of the Division of Graduate Education. At NSF, he created new partnerships with the National Institutes of Health and with the Office of Naval Research and served on several agency wide and interagency committees including the cyber infrastructure strategic planning committee.

Chancellor Dutta served as a Scholar-in-Residence at the National Academy of Engineering, directing projects on lifelong learning for engineering professionals and enhancing innovative capabilities through engineering education. Both reports have been published by the National Academy Press.

A True Blue Michigan Man

Chancellor Dutta began his career at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and served for 20 years as a mechanical engineering professor while working closely with automotive and manufacturing companies, conducting research, and delivering degree programs. He directed the College of Engineering’s Program in Manufacturing and was the founding director of its Interdisciplinary Professional Programs. Chancellor Dutta also holds a Ph.D in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

Since his arrival at UM-Flint, Chancellor Dutta has worked with colleagues both internally and externally for the good of the campus and community. His many initiatives are focused on student success in the fields of technology and innovation; reaffirming the campus commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and developing new partnerships with organizations and industry to create new opportunities for UM-Flint.

He is thrilled to return home to Michigan and seeks to make a positive contribution to the revitalization of Flint and Genesee County. He resides in Flint with his wife, Fataneh Taghaboni-Dutta, Ph.D., who served as a faculty member of UM-Flint for nearly 20 years.

Downloadable full bio of Chancellor Debasish Dutta, Ph.D. or if you prefer an abbreviated version, please contact the Office of the Chancellor.