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Vice President for Academic Research

University of Dayton
Dayton, Ohio, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Apr 5, 2024

Position Summary:

The University of Dayton (UD) invites applications for the inaugural position of Vice President for Academic Research (VPAR). The VPAR is responsible for leading and developing UD’s new Office of Academic Research, growing UD’s portfolio of academic research, scholarship, and creative works, and, as a member of the University’s senior leadership team, advancing UD’s mission and strategic priorities.

Like most universities, UD previously had the single position of Vice President for Research with responsibility for the University’s full research portfolio, including both faculty-driven research and the sponsored research of the highly successful, staff-driven University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), now in its 67th year of existence. Given the highly specialized nature of much of UDRI’s research and concomitant funding and infrastructure, UD’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs has made the decision to create this new position. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with the vice president for UDRI to inspire, motivate, and support a wider range of research and scholarly activity that will include undergraduate and graduate students, all academic units on campus, and collaborative work between faculty and UDRI staff.

Established in 1850, UD is a top-tier, national Catholic research university. UD currently serves approximately 11,370 students, including more than 8,100 full-time undergraduates and 3,180 graduate and law students. The University instills within students an earnest commitment to the community, provides education to develop the whole person, and strives to be a university dedicated to the common good.

UD’s total sponsored research portfolio in fiscal year 2023 was $238.6 million. UDRI, a national leader in applied research and development with strong partnerships with the Department of Defense, accounts for roughly 95% of that portfolio. Academic research undertaken by UD faculty in our College of Arts and Sciences and our professional schools accounts for the remaining 5% of the portfolio, roughly $12 million.

UD is investing in the University’s academic research capacity by establishing the Office of Academic Research (OAR). UD seeks an accomplished and thoughtful academic research leader to provide strategic and operational leadership for the OAR, develop a differentiated vision for academic research given UD’s unique context and strengths, and enhance and expand a comprehensive, innovative, and synergistic academic research, scholarship, and creative enterprise that includes both graduate and undergraduate students. The VPAR will be asked to work closely with the VP-UDRI, the provost, and the deans to formulate a comprehensive “one-University” research vision for UD that leverages the presence of the highly acclaimed UDRI and integrates the academic units.

Reporting to the provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, the VPAR is responsible for promoting a collaborative and entrepreneurial academic research environment. As a valued member of UD’s senior academic leadership team, the VPAR drives the strategic expansion of academic research, scholarly, and creative activity, grows and diversifies research revenue for the University, expands undergraduate student research, and contributes to the University’s anchor institution and partner University strategy. The VPAR deploys their leadership capabilities, exceptional budgetary and management skills, and their appreciation for the University’s Catholic and Marianist mission to advance the full diversity of academic research, scholarship, and creative activity at UD.

The VPAR will possess a keen understanding of the importance of academic research for faculty excellence, its impact on students in terms of experiential learning, and its import for the University’s role as an anchor institution and partner university and, accordingly, will offer a strategic vision of excellence for UD’s research enterprise. The ideal candidate will be a distinguished scholar, a proven academic researcher, and a dedicated educator. While academic experience 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 successful candidate must exhibit substantial administrative leadership experience at a research university or comparable setting, have knowledge of and commitment to research compliance and integrity, and possess the ability and acumen to help translate research for societal gain to enhance workforce development for economic growth.

Competitive candidates will possess significant experience with budget and planning, personnel supervision, and consultative leadership and shared governance. They will provide evidence of their ability to establish UD’s academic research infrastructure. They will demonstrate evidence of innovation and entrepreneurship in supporting scholarship and creative activity across campus-wide academic disciplines and professions along with an ability to attract internal and external partners.

Minimum Qualifications:

• An earned doctorate degree from an accredited university and distinguished research record in their academic discipline
• For hire with tenure, the candidate must have a demonstrated record of teaching, research, and service commensurate with University’s standards for tenure and appointment with rank in a department/school related to the candidate’s area of expertise
• Seven or more years of progressive leadership experience in academic administration, research, or innovation and commercialization

Preferred Qualifications:

While not everyone may meet all preferred qualifications, the ideal candidate will bring many of the following:

• A record of academic scholarship commensurate with University’s standards for appointment at the rank of tenured full professor
• Success as a principal investigator of substantial competitive federal research grants (or equivalent) and in fostering collaboration to grow, and lead federal and industry research partnerships with the University, from private partnerships, government agencies, industry, and other funding entities.
• A demonstrated record of championing and prioritizing the academic research, scholarship, and creative work within higher education and promoting integration of academic research, curricular innovation, and pedagogical excellence
• Exceptional leadership skills, including evidence of a collegial and collaborative leadership style, strong communication skills, the ability to foster an inclusive and diverse team, the ability to attract and inspire others around a positive vision, the ability to make difficult decisions and foster accountability for key performance indicators
• A record of success in networking and expanding research revenue streams, strategic financial management, intellectual property development, commercialization and entrepreneurship, and effective collaboration to promote economic and workforce development
• A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusive excellence, and anti-racism exhibited by successful work with socially and culturally diverse faculty and staff in a wide range of disciplines and evidence of the ability to advance innovative research and scholarly initiatives while enhancing inclusive excellence.
• A record of success in promoting the full spectrum of scholarship, including that conducted by undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative works
• Comprehensive knowledge of, and experience with, research funding issues and policies, compliance and regulatory matters pertaining to the research enterprise,
• Successful administration of a research-support enterprise with a focus on outcomes, including exercising fiscally sound oversight of the budget
• A proven ability to organize programs and build teams to support the commercialization of research, technology transfer, and IP generated across the University
• A demonstrated commitment to excellence on both a personal and professional level of personal integrity and ethical standards, accountability, creativity, and flexibility
• Evidence of a proactive, innovative, entrepreneurial, and visionary mindset, with a strategic ability to apply creative solutions to complex problems and lead change initiatives in a multi-faceted organization

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Applications should include a letter of interest and curriculum vitae. Applications and nominations will be accepted until the position is filled. Confidential review of materials and screening of candidates will begin immediately. Harris Search Associates is assisting the University of Dayton with this search.

Please send application materials to the email address below or contact Jeffrey Harris, Managing Partner, or Eric Christ, Senior Consultant for further details.

J effrey Harris, Managing Partner

Tel: 614-798-8500

Cell: 614-354-2100


Eric Christ, Senior Consultant

Tel: 614-798-8500

Cell: 614-800-9974


Closing Statement:

The University of Dayton is a top tier, Catholic research university with offerings from the undergraduate to the doctoral levels. Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary, the University is a diverse community committed to advancing the common good through intellectual curiosity, academic rigor, community engagement and local, national and global partnerships. Guided by the Marianist educational philosophy, we educate the whole person and link learning and scholarship with leadership and service.

Informed by its Catholic and Marianist mission, the University is committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Informed by this commitment, we seek to increase diversity, achieve equitable outcomes, and model inclusion across our campus community. As an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, we will not discriminate against minorities, women, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, or on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The University is also pleased to provide support for spouses of prospective and newly hired faculty through its dual career program. While we cannot guarantee placement, we serve as an effective resource and support system for your spouse. Information can be found at

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