Dr. Zorica Pantić has been a trail blazer in higher education for more than 30 years. She was the first woman engineer to lead an institute of technology in the United States when she was appointed president of Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston in 2005. She was also a Founding Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Director of the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University; Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and a faculty at the University of Niš, Serbia, where she received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering.
During her 14-year tenure, she worked closely with the faculty and staff to transform Wentworth from a small 4-year college into a medium size university nationally recognized for the quality of its programs: especially in construction management, architecture, engineering and computer science. In this period, the university introduced 10 new undergraduate and 7 graduate programs; grew its enrollment from 3,500 students to 4,500; doubled its operating budget from $63M to $134M; raised $85 million in various cash gifts and philanthropic commitments; and invested $300M in the facilities including two new residence halls and a $55-million Center for Engineering, Innovation and Sciences. Dr. Pantić also expanded industry relations by strengthening Wentworth’s hallmark co-op program and establishing an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. She championed student, faculty and staff diversity increasing female student participation from 18% to 23%; minority participation from 14% to 20%; and female faculty from 25% to 35%. She also, established a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston and 4 Massachusetts community colleges to receive a $950,000- NSF Louis Stokes Minority Participation.
At the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dr. Pantić introduced 3 new doctoral and one masters program; increased research funding 10-fold; increased the enrollment by 75% and served as a PI on a $970k AFOSR grant. She was also instrumental in securing funding for the $83M Engineering Building. At San Francisco State University, she increased enrollment by 10%; established a Center for Electromagnetic Compatibility – the first one on the West Coast to support undergraduate student research – with a help of $120k NSF lab grant and over $100k in industry donations. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, she led a team of doctoral and MS students and was the first one in the UIUC Electromagnetics research laboratory to use the new Cray supercomputer.
Dr. Pantić is a member of the International Women Forum; World Association for Co-op Education (Executive Committee); National Academy of Construction (Scholarship Committee) and a Senior Member of IEEE. She served as Board member of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society and on the NCAA Division III Academic Council. She is a member of the MassPort Designer Selection Panel and served on the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Council; Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council; Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board; New England Association of Schools and Colleges; Boston Women’s Workforce Council; and Boston Private Industry Council. She also served on the Texas Engineering and Technology Consortium (Executive Committee) and the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (Technology Council).
She received many awards and recognitions including: 2019 Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award; 2018 The Commonwealth Institute – Massachusetts top 100 women led businesses (#50); 2017 The Engineering Center Education Trust (TECET), Person of the Year Award; 2016 Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), District I Excellence Awards; 2014 Construction Management Association of America (CMMA), New England chapter Person of the Year; 2007 Leading Women Girl Scouts Patriots’ Trail; 2006 Women of Excellence Award by the Boston National Association of Women Business Owners; 2003 San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce – Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.