UMN: VP for research Mulcahy retiring in December

I don't usually cover VP appointments, but with research being such a heavyweight topic, I'm sharing what I got from the U:

U of M Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy to retire

The University of Minnesota today announced that Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will retire in December 2012. President Eric Kaler has appointed Aaron Friedman, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School, and Steven Crouch, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, as co-chairs of a national search for Mulcahy’s successor.

During his first meeting with incoming President Kaler in 2011, Mulcahy discussed his longstanding plan to retire within the next two years. Earlier this year, Mulcahy told the president he had decided to retire in December, at the end of his eighth year as vice president for research.

“As Minnesota’s only research university, the U of M is fortunate to have had the leadership and vision that Tim has provided as vice president for research,” said Kaler. “He has made many contributions and is recognized as a solid leader by those inside and outside the university. We understand that it will be a big pair of shoes to fill.”

Mulcahy was appointed vice president for research at the University of Minnesota in February 2005. He is responsible for the oversight and administration of an externally funded research program of nearly $800 million, which encompasses all five campuses in the U of M system. He has primary responsibility for the overall vitality of the university wide research enterprise, including supporting evolution of new research, maintaining a competitive research infrastructure, developing and managing campus wide research policies and overseeing administrative management of all sponsored research activity.

Under his leadership, the university initiated a series of programs and organizational changes designed to enhance commercialization of university-based technologies and to enrich university-business relations. Most recently, the launch of Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (MN-IP) introduced a unique approach to industry-funded research that makes it easier for business partners to sponsor research at the university. He also has been instrumental in overseeing the re-investment of technology transfer royalty revenue into research and scholarly initiatives at the university, including $50 million for the 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Endowment and nearly $40 million for major equipment purchases, facility improvements and support for the arts and humanities.

This transformation of the university’s research environment, technology transfer operations and business relations functions under Mulcahy’s leadership now positions the university to effectively fulfill Kaler’s objectives in those areas.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the U and am grateful for the many friends I’ve made while here,” said Mulcahy. “We set out on a bold agenda eight years ago, and I’m extremely proud of the great progress we’ve made toward its realization. I’m at a great jumping-off point personally, and the U is well positioned for continued success.”

Mulcahy said that spending more time with his wife, Patti, and their family was the key driver behind his retirement decision.

A full search committee, under Friedman and Crouch, will be appointed in early April, and a new vice president for research is expected to be named in the fall.

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