Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Jun 15, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


The University of Alabama (UA) is conducting a search for its next Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED). A key pillar of UA's strategic plan is to "increase the University's productivity and innovation in research, scholarship, and creative activities that impact economic and societal development," and UA seeks an experienced, collaborative, and insightful leader for this exciting next phase of the flagship university's growth.

UA, having doubled in size since 2002, is the nation's fastest-growing flagship university. UA currently enrolls 38,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and now attracts more than half of its students from out-of-state. Additionally, in recent years UA has invested $2.5 billion in campus buildings and infrastructure, including over $400 million in world-class research facilities. As part of the Peter Bryce Campus acquisition, the University also has significant land and facility holdings available for allocation to the research mission as needed.

Building on this momentum, with a forward-looking focus on growth in faculty and research prominence, UA plans to significantly increase the size of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the coming years, with an eye toward research synergies and addressing our national and global challenges. These investments create exciting opportunities, perhaps unique in the nation, in terms of the potential for research advancements over the coming decade.

To lead this ambitious vision for research growth, the University seeks a VPRED with a demonstrated record of excellence in landing and managing competitive large-scale funded research projects, a visionary approach to interdisciplinary research, expertise and insight regarding the future directions of sponsored research nationally and globally, and superior leadership and managerial skills. While maintaining a sharp focus on sponsored research growth, the VPRED will also demonstrate a thorough understanding of and ability to foster research, scholarship, and creative activity across the breadth of the flagship campus.

The successful candidate will play a key role in attracting top research faculty to UA, and in supporting their relationships to industrial, foundation, state, and federal funding sources. As a key member of the president's leadership team, the VPRED will guide large-scale investments in laboratories, centers, institutes, and research groups.

The VPRED will also foster creative and effective proposal development, supervise grant and contract administration, oversee key areas of compliance, and guide strategic planning and goal-setting for the research dimension of UA's bold vision. This individual will be instrumental in setting, catalyzing, and achieving institutional priorities, and will lead strategic initiatives that establish and enhance excellence across a broad spectrum of research activities. The VPRED will also work closely with the academic deans and the Graduate School in fostering significant growth in the number of graduate students, aligned with the growth in faculty and research breadth.

For more information about UA and the Office of Research and Economic Development, including a complete profile and position description for the search, please visit In addition, a brief video overview of this opportunity is available at

The University is being assisted by Academic Search, Inc. Applications should consist of a substantive cover letter, a curriculum vitae and a list of five professional references with full contact information. No references will be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. Applications, nominations and expressions of interest can be submitted electronically, and in confidence, to:
[email protected].

Applications will remain confidential until the selection of the finalists, whose names and application materials will be made public. The position is open until filled but only applications received by August 20, 2018, can be assured full consideration. Confidential discussions about this opportunity may be arranged by contacting consultants Ann Die Hasselmo at [email protected] and Andrea Cowsert at [email protected].

The University of Alabama is an equal-opportunity employer (EOE), including an EOE of protected vets and individuals with disabilities.


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