Title: Vice President for Research
Personal Research focus: Ph.D. in Medical Psychology from the
University of Oregon Medical School; 25 years at the National
Institutes of Health; 20 years as a Laboratory Chief of Clinical
Brain Research and five years as Planning and Evaluation Officer for
the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; more than
150 scientific publications. Practiced as a clinical psychologist
for more than 20 years.
Years at UMaine: Four
Milestones: Since FY 2003, NSF-calculated research
expenditures for UMaine have increased 35 percent and U.S.
Congressional earmarks have increased more than 50 percent. Since FY
2004, the Maine Economic Improvement Fund has increased 36 percent
for UMaine. Determination of Return on Investment (ROI) for research
investments was initiated in 2004. The University Research Council
was reconstituted with representatives from every college, providing
faculty input in UMaine's major research initiatives.
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Question: What is the role of research at a
land-grant institution like the University of Maine?
Answer: Today's land grant should be
responsive to the needs of the public, with approximately 50 percent of
its research and scholarly activity applied or of obvious significance
to the lay person. In Maine, the legislature has assisted in defining
those areas of significance with the seven Maine Economic Improvement
Fund (MEIF) areas: agriculture and forestry; aquaculture and marine
sciences; precision manufacturing; environmental technology;
biotechnology; information technology; and composites and advanced
materials. As a result, UMaine's research priorities include alternative
energy sources, climate change, homeland security, biomedical research
and research to enhance the competitiveness of Maine's natural
Question: What are the challenges in
achieving that fundamental mission?
Answer: The challenges include increasing
funding for graduate students, especially doctoral candidates;
increasing MEIF awards; introducing new models for funding R&D at the
state level; and accelerating production of university-related economic
contributions to Maine, intellectual property, translational research,
jobs and successful businesses that partner with or emerge from the
Question: How does science and engineering
research dovetail with UMaine's liberal arts foundation?
Answer: Appreciation of the liberal arts is
what makes us human and also provides the context for conducting
research in science and engineering. Recognition of the importance of
the liberal arts was apparent in the original land-grant legislation
that acknowledged that the emphasis on agriculture, military tactics and
mechanic arts should be conducted within the framework of a liberal arts
education. The emphasis in Maine on the creative economy also is
recognition of the importance of the liberal arts in the economic
development of the state.
Question: How do we measure the success of UMaine research?
Answer: Ultimate Return on Investment (ROI)
is enhanced economic development and the creation of new jobs resulting
from investments in university R&D. I use a number of proxies for this
ultimate goal: the number and amount of federal grants leveraged; the
number of businesses assisted by UMaine; the number of graduates who
have developed skills enabling them to be employed in high-paying jobs;
the number of research publications, presentations and books; the number
of patents and licenses resulting from university-developed intellectual
property; the number of graduate students who earn degrees; and the
number of national and international awards to faculty.