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University of Minnesota begins search for new vice president for research

May 17, 2012

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has named a search committee to lead a national search for the university’s new vice president for research.

Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will retire in December 2012 following nearly eight years at the post.

President Kaler has appointed Aaron Friedman, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School, and Steve Crouch, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, to co-chair the search committee.

“As the state’s only comprehensive, public land grant research university, this position is of vital importance to the University of Minnesota,” said Kaler. “Investing in our research enterprise is among my top priorities and is crucial to build upon the successes realized under Tim’s guidance. I am confident this search will produce a visionary, strategic and inclusive leader committed to the highest standards of academic and research excellence.”

The vice president for research is responsible for providing central leadership to the university's research programs and representing the university's interests in research on its campuses and to external constituencies. As the institution's chief research officer, the vice president oversees all aspects of research at the university's five campuses, providing guidance to individual researchers and managing the system-wide research enterprise.

The search committee is comprised of individuals who ensure broad representation from across the university and externally. Its members are:

  • Friedman and Crouch, co-chairs
  • Melissa Anderson, professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development, College of Education and Human Development, and member, Senate Research Committee
  • David Bernlohr, professor, Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, College of Biological Sciences and Medical School
  • Jerry Cohen, professor, Department of Horticultural Science, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Tim Holst, associate vice chancellor, Graduate School, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Minnesota, Duluth
  • Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and chief executive officer, Minnesota High Tech Association, and former member, Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Gail Klatt, associate vice president for internal audit
  • Gordon Legge, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
  • Tim Lodge, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, College of Science and Engineering
  • Abdul Omari, member, Graduate and Professional Student Association, and student representative to the Board of Regents
  • Beth Virnig, associate dean for research, School of Public Health
  • Dale Wahlstrom, president and chief executive officer, LifeScience Alley & BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota
  • Pamela Webb, associate vice president, Sponsored Projects Administration, Office of the Vice President for Research

The search committee aims to develop as rich and diverse candidate pool as possible, and invites both nominations and applications for the position.

The search firm Isaacson, Miller has been selected to assist the committee in sourcing and recruiting diverse and qualified candidates for the position. Founded in 1982, Isaacson, Miller undertakes nationwide searches for a wide variety of organizations, including leading universities, research institutes, academic medical centers, foundations, cultural institutions, economic development organizations, human service agencies and national advocacy groups.

For more information on the search for the University of Minnesota’s next vice president for research, visit:

Twin Cities Campus: