Roberts named vice provost for research
A. Roberts, interim vice provost for research and president of the KU
Center for Research, has been named vice provost on a permanent basis.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David E. Shulenburger praised Roberts
for his instrumental role in creating research success at KU.
“During his time at KU, the university has led the nation in obtaining
Fulbright grants for faculty, NEH fellowships and a doubling of external
research funding,” Shulenburger said. “I’m delighted
that Jim will be the next vice provost for research and will serve as
chief operating officer of KUCR.
“He knows KU at every level and will continue the progress that
he has been such an integral part in establishing.”
Roberts will lead research efforts at a time when KU has set a record
for total research expenditures—$258 million for fiscal year 2003—from
sources both outside and within the university.
“This is a great time to be at KU,” Roberts said. “We
have a tremendous opportunity to build a research powerhouse that will
drive economic growth for the state and the region. We can make KU a truly
outstanding place for students now and in the future.”
Roberts has a long and distinguished career with research-related activities
at KU. He came to the university in 1990 as professor and chair of electrical
and computer engineering. During his tenure as chair, the ranking of KU’s
funding for electrical engineering research among public universities
improved from 61st to 21st in the nation. In 1993, he shepherded the successful
merger with the computer science department, formerly part of KU’s
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to form the Department of Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science.
Beginning in 1998, he served as associate vice chancellor for research
and public service and later as associate vice provost for research. In
his former role, he administered the campus research centers and institutes
and had responsibility for matching funds, research space, faculty startup
and other strategic research investments that have had a positive impact
on researchers’ ability to win major interdisciplinary awards.
Roberts graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering
at KU; a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in Cambridge; and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering
from Santa Clara University in California.
Roberts succeeds Robert E. Barnhill, who left KU in September 2003 to
begin an appointment as the National Science Foundation/Council of Graduate
Schools dean-in-residence in Washington, D.C.