Vice President for Research and Economic Development

New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Apr 23, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

University at Albany

Vice President for Research and Economic Development


The University at Albany, State University of New York (UAlbany) seeks a distinguished scholar and administrative leader to serve as the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED). Reporting directly to President Havidán Rodríguez, the VPRED will lead a university-wide effort to advance UAlbany’s regional, national, and international reputation as a leading research university and engine of economic development.


Established in 1844, UAlbany is one of four flagship research universities in the 64-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system. With more than 23,000 members within its campus community, UAlbany is home to nine colleges and schools and over 50 research centers and institutes across three campuses. It has been one of the nation’s 131 elite Carnegie Classified “R1” doctoral degree granting universities since 2005. In addition to its very high research activity, it is distinguished for its many academic strengths and close ties to government and industry, and for having a diverse student population with 43 percent of the student body identifying as underrepresented minorities.  


UAlbany is widely recognized for academic and research strengths in atmospheric and environmental sciences, biological sciences, business, computer science, demography, economics, education, history, math, political science, public administration and policy, public health, psychology, sociology, and social welfare. The University has made significant investments in strategic areas of strength and opportunity including weather and climate sciences, health sciences, minority health disparities, emergency preparedness, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, and engineering and computer science.


With its nationally respected programs, top-ranked professors, and strategic location in New York’s capital, UAlbany offers a world-class education to 13,176 undergraduates and 4,505 graduate, doctoral and professional students, as of Fall 2020. The University is home to more than 1,000 instructional faculty.  UAlbany received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and was highlighted as a national leader in advancing racial equity in 2020 by Education Trust. In terms of social mobility, U.S. News and World Report listed UAlbany among the top 7% of performers (2021), Education Reform Now listed UAlbany among the top 6% (2020), and CollegeNET listed UAlbany among the top 2% (2020). In 2020, the University joined a select group of colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.


UAlbany reported over $181.5 million of combined intramural and extramural research expenditures as highlighted in the last report of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey in 2019. In FY 2019-20, extramural research and training expenditures generated through the SUNY Research Foundation totalled $94.7 million, which represents an increase of nearly six percent since FY 2015-16. Many of these extramural pursuits led by UAlbany investigators are interdisciplinary in scope—a signature strength of the University. 


Over the past two decades, UAlbany has made significant capital investments in research infrastructure, including the $110M Life Sciences Research Building (2004), the $45M Gen*NY*Sis Cancer Center (2005), and the $64M School of Business (2013). Set to open in Summer 2021, UAlbany will unveil a 245,000 square-foot R&D complex known as ETEC. This $180M facility will bring together the University's internationally recognized weather and climate enterprise together with the nation's first College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s unique Department of Environmental and Sustainable Engineering.


With its pioneering 35-year partnership with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the School of Public Health is a prime example of UAlbany's strategic location in relation to state government. Over 100 scientists from the state’s renowned research-intensive public health laboratory—the Wadsworth Center—have academic appointments in the School. The Wadsworth Center has received a state capital appropriation to build a $750 million R&D laboratory complex. Adjacent to UAlbany, this ground-breaking R&D facility will create new opportunities for future joint research, training, and development across the institutions. 


Candidates for the Vice President for Research and Economic Development should demonstrate passion for research discovery, appreciate the importance of different types of research and scholarship across disciplines, and demonstrate experience building inclusive partnerships with diverse constituencies internally, externally, and across organizations. Candidates should have a strong reputation for interdisciplinary collaborations and high-impact research. The successful candidate will also have a proven record in securing funding from external organizations, such as federal agencies, industry, and/or foundations. Demonstrable experience building relationships with corporate partners is important.


The Vice President for Research and Economic Development must be an innovative, entrepreneurial, visionary, and collaborative leader. The successful candidate will have had prior administrative and leadership experience at a research organization, whether university, industry, or agency. The next VPRED must have a demonstrated record of leading significant change. The most viable candidates will understand both the scientific and business consequences of decision-making and will be willing to actively engage in their new role.


Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Adobe PDF files preferred), a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to:


Jett Pihakis

Consultant to the Search Committee

Russell Reynolds Associates   


Although materials will be accepted and reviewed until the position is filled, for fullest consideration, materials should be received as soon as possible and preferably by May 17.


University at Albany is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. The University actively encourages applications and nominations of women, minorities and persons with disabilities and applications from candidates with diverse cultural backgrounds.

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