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Crawford to be Next Vice Chancellor for Research

I am pleased to announce today that Deborah Crawford has agreed to become UT Knoxville’s next vice chancellor for research. Dr. Crawford, who is currently the vice president of research, innovation and economic impact at George Mason University in Virginia, will join UT on August 1.

I want to thank Matthew Mench for his service as interim vice chancellor for research over the past five months. He has been a steady and trusted presence at a difficult time and has brought positive energy to the Office of Research. I greatly appreciate his leadership.

In her new role, Dr. Crawford will lead the university’s research enterprise as a member of the cabinet, with responsibility for developing and implementing research plans, building innovative partnerships, and raising UT’s national and international reputation. She will also work closely with the provost and our partners at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to ensure the success of the proposed Oak Ridge Institute. Her considerable experience at the National Science Foundation as well as her previous leadership roles in higher education provide her with expertise to create the collaborative research efforts across campus that help raise our research profile.

Over the past four years, Dr. Crawford’s leadership at George Mason has included the creation of three multidisciplinary research institutes and four university research centers. She was instrumental to the university’s role in Virginia’s Amazon HQ2 proposal, and she led a multidisciplinary working group of deans and faculty informing the upcoming launch of its School of Computing.

Before joining George Mason, Dr. Crawford spent two years as the president and executive director of the International Computer Science Institute, a not-for-profit research institution in Berkeley, California, and four years as the senior vice provost for research at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She spent 17 years in various roles at the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Crawford holds a bachelor’s degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in information systems engineering from the University of Bradford, both in the United Kingdom.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Crawford and welcoming her to the Volunteer family.

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Donde Plowman
Chancellor