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Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Georgia Southern University

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Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Georgia Southern University (GS) invites applications and nominations as well as expressions of interest for the position of Vice President for Research & Economic Development (VPR&ED). The University seeks a dynamic, visionary and entrepreneurial leader and scholar who will partner with Dr. Carl Reiber (Provost & Executive Vice President - Academic Affairs) and Dr. Kyle Marrero (University President) in implementing a dynamic new vision for the future of research growth and development at Georgia Southern University.

Georgia Southern University
As a rapidly rising research university, and one of the largest University System of Georgia (USG) based institutions outside the Atlanta metro region, GS offers a distinctive academic environment built on its values and unique position within the region. With nearly 27,000 students, approximately 3,000 employees and an operating budget of $480 million, GS provides engaging environments on three campuses in southeast Georgia (Statesboro, Savannah and Hinesville) situated in a rapidly growing region and with historic ties to the coastal low country climate, culture and history. Founded on strengths in education, arts and humanities with internationally recognized programs in the logistics and supply chain management, business and engineering, GS provides tremendous opportunities for students, staff and faculty through high quality academics, culturally relevant engagement, and public impact research. GS's 10 academic colleges and university libraries offer 156 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist degree programs, including an expanding number of health professions related programs.

GS has aligned its academic structure to its new mission and grown from its Statesboro campus to now include campuses in Savannah (Armstrong campus) and in Hinesville (Liberty campus), combining to help create a $1 billion economic impact on Southeast Georgia.The Statesboro campus sits on 1,151 acres with more than 5.8 million square feet of building space, including the downtown Statesboro Business Innovation Group (BIG), the newly opened 140,000 square feet Engineering and Research Building, and the 109,000 square feet Interdisciplinary Academic Building. It is also the home to the University's Animal Care Facility, the Talon Cluster - HPC Center, and the 135,000 square feet Biological Sciences Building. Savannah's Armstrong campus encompasses 263 acres and about 1.5 million square feet of teaching and research space, including a new 26,000 square feet research complex. The Liberty campus is situated in Hinesville, next to the entrance of Ft. Stewart, offering programs both on campus as well as within the Army Educational Centers, at both Ft. Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield.

Additional information about Georgia Southern, its history and programs can be found at

Research at Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University received the Carnegie Foundation's designation of Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity, and is rapidly expanding its research capabilities and expectations realizing significant increases in competitive federal funding. Our Public Impact Research agenda embraces the discovery, application, and translation of new knowledge to engage directly with the pressing technical and social challenges faced by the people living and working in the region we serve. This commitment is reflected in our designated research impact areas - five areas of existing institutional strengths - that are being leveraged to increase our research capacity and make meaningful impact in the fields of: Logistics and Supply Chain Innovation; Coastal Resiliency; Holistic Fitness and Wellness; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; and Vibrant Communities. These impact areas are not comprehensive of all areas of research excellence but represent strategic areas for acceleration of success in competitive funding. GS also produces exceptional scholarship from highly ranked programs in the humanities and performing and fine/visual arts and each year attracts world-class exhibitions and performers to our region. In 2021, GS had $38 million in research expenditures. In addition, the University experienced a corresponding increase in commercialization of intellectual property to include a growth in invention disclosures, patent applications and awards, and licenses executed. A goal has been established to grow research activity to exceed $50 million a year by 2026.

Position Summary
Reporting to the Provost & Executive Vice President - Academic Affairs and working closely with the President, cabinet and college deans to align research with GS's overall academic mission, the VPR&ED is responsible for developing institutional research policies and procedure, coordinating and providing oversight of research, scholarship, and creative activity at GS, and serving in a crucial leadership role in defining and meeting the emerging research opportunities of the future. The position supervises five direct reports within the Office of Research who manage the pre-award, research development, compliance and security, administrative operations, and innovation, tech transfer, and commercialization functions of the unit. The VPR&ED also supervises the daily operations of the Georgia Southern Research and Service Foundation.

The VPR&ED will lead the University in achieving the goals of its research and economic development agenda including: promoting interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research; integrating research and education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels; ensuring the integrity of research processes and policies; stewarding the physical and computational infrastructure necessary for research leadership; establishing collaborative research partnerships between the University and key stakeholders at the local, regional, national, and international levels; participating in federal and state policymaking regarding research and economic development; and engaging a broad range of individuals in research, scholarly, or creative activity that strengthen the University's research enterprise.

The VPR&ED will also promote and facilitate intellectual property development and commercialization by supporting translational research to help move discoveries from the conceptual stage through the start-up phase. In addition, the VPR&ED will play a critical role in fostering increased business engagement, entrepreneurship, and economic development opportunities by leveraging business development and technology transfer.

The successful candidate should hold national/international recognition as a scholar, researcher/practitioner, and educator with the accomplishments expected for appointment as a tenured professor. Academic experience (professional and administrative) is strongly desired, exceptional candidates who have demonstrated a high degree of national or international scholarly and administrative success outside of academia will be considered. The VPR&ED must also exhibit substantial administrative leadership experience at a research university or comparable setting.
To view the Position Profile and a full list of qualifications, please visit

Application and Nomination Process
The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applications should include a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via email is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name and contact information of the nominee. Applications and nominations should be sent to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Matthew Herrera, Senior Associate

Refer to code “GSU-VPRED” in subject line

SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601

Georgia Southern University seeks to recruit individuals who are committed to working in diverse academic and professional communities and who are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and professional service within the University and beyond. The names of applicants and nominees, vitae, and other non-evaluative information may be subject to public inspection under the Georgia Open Records Act. Georgia Southern University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity institution. Individuals who need reasonable accommodations under the ADA to participate in the search process should contact Denise Gebara, Director of Talent Acquisition and Employment Services, at

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