It’s exciting to serve as UNT’s vice president for research and economic development when there is good momentum, opportunity and potential. There also is a strong commitment to enhancing UNT’s research portfolio. I’m particularly impressed with the quality of our faculty and their interest in developing multi-investigator, interdisciplinary research to compete for large federally funded research grants.
This interdisciplinary approach and our faculty quality are the essential ingredients for building a Tier One research university. I know this from serving as the vice president for research, creativity and technology at Montana State University for 15 years. Attracting competitive faculty and building interdisciplinary teams were significant factors in moving MSU into the nation’s top tier of research universities as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The collaborations taking place at UNT hold a lot of promise. New and longtime faculty members are working together to develop focused research institutes of excellence — for example, a proposed BioDiscovery Institute: Bio-based Engineering for a Sustainable Future and a proposed Materials Science for Enabling Competitive Products Institute. This cross-disciplinary approach capitalizes on UNT’s strengths and is one of the best ways to compete as a research institution.
It also is essential to note the accomplishments of our faculty across the entire campus. A university is not great without excellent scholarship across all disciplines, including the arts, humanities, education, and social, behavioral and economic sciences, as well as the STEM disciplines. The articles in this issue highlight the breadth of our excellence.
Partnerships are key to our progress. We are teaming up with national labs, industry and other universities to conduct research, advance knowledge and contribute to economic development through eventual commercialization where feasible.
Being a high-quality research university is important for many reasons, the most important being that having a strong research portfolio enhances students’ education. Our students learn from faculty pushing the boundaries of knowledge through funded research and have access to state-of-the-art equipment purchased through competitive awards our faculty have earned.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Advancing research and economic development
Fulbright awards, medical research, student projects
Race and the Cold War, science and politics, systemic thinking
Sustainable fashion, ecotoxicology, musician health,
marketing, merchandising, nonprofit management
Engineering, journalism, composition, psychology of physical activity, catalysts, behavior analysis, information aesthetics
Multidisciplinary research and high-quality faculty