I am pleased to announce that Robert Nobles has agreed to serve as interim vice chancellor for research beginning August 1.
An internal search for the next vice chancellor will begin in the coming weeks, with a goal of having a new leader in place by November. As I announced last week, Victor McCrary has decided to leave the university for family reasons effective July 31. Stacey Patterson, vice president for research at the UT System, will chair the search for his replacement.
In the meantime, I am confident in Robert’s ability to lead the Office of Research and Engagement. I know he will keep our university moving forward following a record year for research in fiscal year 2017, which saw $203 million in total research expenditures including $117 million in federal research expenditures. Robert has been associate vice chancellor for research since 2013 and spent seven months as interim vice chancellor for research last year.
In his earlier service as interim, Robert instituted several initiatives that increased faculty engagement in research and creative activities, including the launch of a new faculty orientation in the fall and an investment of nearly $1 million in internal seed funding. These measures resulted in significant increases in the number of proposals submitted and awards granted during fiscal year 2018.
Robert has maintained an active research program throughout his career. He has a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and a master’s in public health from Florida A&M University and a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Information about the search, including the appointment of the search committee members and a call for applications, will be posted at hr.utk.edu in the coming days.