Vice President for Research search launched

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I write to update you on the national search for a new Vice President for Research.

I have appointed a search committee, led by co-chairs Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson and Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Sciences Brooks Jackson. Other members of the search committee were selected to provide broad representation from across the University and externally:

  • Michelle Biros, Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical School, and Chair of the Institutional Review Board
  • Brian Buhr, Dean, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Chelsea Cervantes De Blois, Ph.D. Student, Department of Geography, College of Liberal Arts
  • Renee Cheng, Professor, School of Architecture, and Former Associate Dean for Research, College of Design
  • Raymond (Bud) Duvall, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Grand Challenges Research Strategies Team
  • Valery Forbes, Dean, College of Biological Sciences
  • Jessica Hellmann, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences, and Director of the Institute on the Environment
  • Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor, Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development
  • Mos Kaveh, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Associate Dean for Research and Planning, College of Science and Engineering
  • Joseph Konstan, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, and Vice Chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee
  • Michael Kyba, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, and Chair of the Senate Research Committee
  • Shaye Mandle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Medical Alley Association
  • Steven Ruggles, Regents Professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts, and Director of the Minnesota Population Center
  • Beth Virnig, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and Research, Health Policy Management, School of Public Health
  • Randy Schiestl, Vice President for Research and Development, Boston Scientific
  • Rolf Weberg, Executive Director, Natural Resources Research Institute, UM-Duluth

We are engaging a search firm, Witt Kieffer, to assist the search committee in navigating the search process and building and assessing a highly qualified candidate pool.

Confidential inquiries and questions concerning this search may be directed to Jim King, Joyce DeLeo, Ph.D., and Brian Bloomfield via email at

The search process will include listening sessions with key stakeholders across the system to gather input about the search process; objectives of the new Vice President; key priorities of the Office of the Vice President for Research; desired qualifications, experience and leadership characteristics of the ideal candidate; and challenges and opportunities facing the new Vice President. The input will help inform the development of a position profile that will articulate the roles and responsibilities of the University’s Vice President for Research moving forward.

The search committee will meet after the listening sessions are completed, and we will advertise the position before the end of the spring semester. At that point, we will engage in aggressive sourcing and recruiting efforts throughout the summer, with the goal of inviting candidates to campus for public interviews in early fall semester.

My gratitude goes out to Allen Levine who has agreed to serve as Interim Vice President throughout the search process. During this period, we will continue to move forward OVPR priorities, which will include greater alignment of those priorities with the offices of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Medical School Dean and Vice President for Health Sciences.  

If you have questions or suggestions, or would like more information about the search, please contact one of the search committee co-chairs or HR Director Kate Stuckert at


Eric W. Kaler


Vice President for Research Search Committee

Vice President for Research Search Committee