University of North Texas

UNT Insider | June 2013 issue | New VP for research to bring experience in guiding top research institution

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New VP for research to bring experience in guiding top research institution

From a UNT News Service press release

Thomas McCoy

Thomas McCoy

Thomas McCoy, vice president for research, creativity and technology transfer at Montana State University, was named UNT's vice president for research and economic development. He will join UNT July 8.

As UNT's chief research officer, McCoy will set the strategies for UNT to further grow as a research university and reach the status of a Tier One institution, a designation for top national research universities that meet certain criteria. UNT is already recognized as the most comprehensive research institution in the North Texas region and is committed to becoming a public research university on par with the best in the nation.

"I look forward to working with everyone at UNT and doing everything I can to enhance the research enterprise at UNT," McCoy says. "It's obvious that UNT's administrators and faculty are committed to offering a first-rate educational experience for students while facilitating the move to a first-rate, top tier research university."

Since being named to his current appointment at Montana in 1998, McCoy has helped to grow research funding at MSU to approximately $112 million annually. At Montana State, McCoy oversaw one of the nation's top tier research universities, as recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Carnegie Foundation recently ranked MSU as one of 108 research universities with "very high research activity," which is Carnegie's highest designation for doctorate granting universities.

"Dr. McCoy's experience as a scientist and as the vice president for research at Montana State will be critical in ensuring the research success of our students and faculty," says UNT President V. Lane Rawlins. "As the preeminent public research university in the North Texas region, we have a bold vision for our research agenda, and Dr. McCoy's success in increasing research funding and his commitment to attracting outstanding students makes him an excellent fit for UNT."

At UNT, McCoy will work to promote UNT's mission in research, original scholarship and artistic creativity as well as provide executive leadership for all components of the Office of Research and Economic Development, including proposal development services, sponsored programs, research integrity/compliance, technology transfer and economic development.

About Thomas McCoy

McCoy previously served as dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the Agriculture Experiment Station at Montana State University. He also served as department head and professor in the Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences at MSU. Prior to joining MSU, he was an associate professor in plant sciences at the University of Arizona and a research geneticist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Alfalfa Production Research Unit in Reno, Nevada. McCoy earned his bachelor's degree in zoology and his master's degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota.

Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at


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June 2013

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