Search begins for research vice president; Kelly will retire this summer

By Jane R. Elgass

The appointment of an 11-member advisory committee to assist in the search for a new vice president for research has been announced by President James J. Duderstadt.

William C. Kelly, who has been vice president since January 1990, will retire from the post this summer.

“Dr. Kelly has served the University with distinction,” Duderstadt said, “and we will all miss him. I have greatly appreciated his service.”

Duderstadt noted that Kelly “has been very supportive of and a strong advocate for faculty research. He has worked closely with the Graduate School to develop a joint funding guide for faculty researchers. He nurtured the Global Change Program into a significant interdisciplinary project and accomplished similar goals with the Great Lakes Studies Council. Recently he has spearheaded efforts to improve the University’s technology transfer activities and created the administrative/faculty task force that has developed new guidelines for determining indirect costs.”

In a letter sent to deans, directors and department chairs, Duderstadt said that the new vice president “will be expected to be a strong academic and intellectual leader in the development and articulation of new ideas for research and scholarly activities.

“The vice president should be well acquainted with and comfortable in the national and international environments in which research and scholarship are conducted,”

he said.

Duderstadt noted that the vice president for research oversees a number of interdisciplinary activities and “will be expected to stimulate collaboration across different disciplines.” He added that “demonstrated leadership in interdisciplinary activities would be valuable.”

Duderstadt also indicated that the advisory committee “is especially eager to consider minority and women candidates.”

In conjunction with the search, the president has asked department and unit heads for their “guidance and suggestions regarding the future role of the University’s Office of Research and the issues it faces. Please send me your comments about the organization and responsibilities of that office and your vision of its future at the University.”

Duderstadt noted in his letter that “the vice president for research is responsible for supervising the administration of research grants and contracts now totaling more than $340 millionper year, as well as building an environment appropriate for the conduct of high-quality scholarship across all academic disciplines. In addition, the person filling the position is an academic officer of the University and a member of the team of executive officers who establish University policies.”

Kelly, who is the C. Scott Turner Professor of Geological Sciences, joined the U-M in 1956. He is an internationally recognized authority on the application of chemistry, mineralogy and petrology to the study of ore deposits in general and of tin-tungsten, base metal and gold-silver deposits in particular.

He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and was president of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1984. He received the University’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1985.

Kelly chaired the Department of Geological Sciences in 1978–81, served as interim director of the Institute of Science and Technology in 1986–87 and was appointed associate vice president for research in January 1989 and interim vice president for research in July 1989.

The advisory committee is chaired by Thomas C. Adamson Jr., professor of aerospace engineering. Other members are: George R. Carignan, associate dean for graduate education and research, College of Engineering, and research engineer, Space Physics Research Laboratory; Jacquelynne S. Eccles, professor of psychology and research scientist, Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research (ISR); Irwin J. Goldstein, associate dean for research and graduate studies, Medical School, and professor of biological chemistry; Sharon C. Herbert, professor of classical archaeology and curator, Kelsey Museum of Archeology;

F. Thomas Juster, professor of economics and research scientist, Survey Research Center, ISR; Donald J. Lewis, chair, Department of Mathematics; Leslie Meek, graduate student in biopsychology; Charlotte M. Mistretta, professor of nursing and of dentistry and research scientist, Center for Human Growth and Development; Robert F. Todd III, associate chair for research, Department of Internal Medicine, and professor of internal medicine; and Warren C. Whatley, associate dean, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, and associate professor of economics.


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