An anonymous contribution created the chair.
In 1985, Blanchard received the Eta Kappa Nu MacDonald Award as the Outstanding Electrical Engineering Professor in the United States of America.
“An undergraduate research environment is the place where a student can assimilate information and then begin to construct complex solutions from simple pieces. This is about getting bright young individuals to apply research principles in a creative way. We encourage them to make mistakes and allow them to survive the process.”
In 2001, Blanchard began his tenure at UT Dallas as a professor of electrical engineering and senior associate dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
After being named a vice provost in 2008, he helped guide the University’s academic programs in curricular and faculty development and worked with the Office of Research to promote the University’s expanding research agenda.
Blanchard was appointed vice president for Information Resources (IR) and chief information officer in 2012. He was appointed dean of undergraduate education in 2013 and held both posts until 2015, when he left IR to concentrate on his role as dean.
Blanchard said his engineering background helped him develop “a logic of process” that helps him to tackle complex administrative problems. But he considers himself first and foremost a faculty member who wants to nurture not just good students, but good people.
“If we don’t have humanity wrapped around their skills by the time they graduate, then we have failed,” Blanchard said. “For me, that’s all-important. And that philosophy is embraced by our entire community.”
Blanchard received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Colorado State University, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. He held positions of responsibility at the Houston Advanced Research Center and in the University of Missouri’s School of Engineering.