Remembering Dean Ilker Baybars
Ilker Baybars, one of the longest-serving and most impactful academic leaders at Carnegie Mellon University, passed away on December 23, 2022, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Baybars was the former dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, and the George Leland Bach Professor of Operations Management at CMU.
Baybars spent over half a century at Carnegie Mellon University, beginning as a graduate student in 1970 and then as a member of the faculty in 1978. Throughout his career, Baybars was a strong advocate of innovation in education, and he brought this vision to CMU-Q when he was appointed dean in 2011.
Michael Trick, who was appointed dean of CMU-Q after Baybars’ retirement in 2017, shared his thoughts about his friend and colleague.
“Dr. Baybars helped establish CMU-Q as one of the finest educational institutions in Qatar, and I am fortunate to have followed in his footsteps as dean. I know I speak for everyone at CMU-Q when I express my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.”
During his six-year tenure as dean of CMU-Q, Baybars built strong bridges with industry, government, and academia in Qatar. He championed the CMU-Q Dean’s Lecture Series, a forum for prominent industry leaders, government officials and members of the business community to share their expertise on topical issues. Since 2011, the Dean’s Lecture Series has hosted some of the most influential thinkers in Qatar.
Baybars signed 27 Memoranda of Understanding between CMU-Q and entities throughout Qatar. Those memoranda promoted cooperation in the areas of science, research and education, and built a strong foundation of strategic partnerships that continue to this day.
First and foremost, Baybars was an educator who was dedicated to bringing the academic excellence of Carnegie Mellon to Qatar. He also was a strong advocate of campus exchange, encouraging CMU-Q students to experience the scholarship and opportunities of Carnegie Mellon’s main campus. When Baybars first came to CMU-Q, only a small number of students participated in campus exchange. When he retired in 2017, nearly a half of all CMU-Q graduates had spent a semester in Pittsburgh.
Cards of condolence may be sent to the Baybars family at 5133 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 15213.