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University of Idaho
Vice President
Research & Economic Development


The University of Idaho seeks a dynamic chief research officer who can articulate and exemplify the vital contribution research generates to the success of a land-grant university.

The Position

The Vice President for Research and Economic Development provides vision and leadership and strategic solutions to oversee, integrate, and facilitate all University research activities, including sponsored and internally funded research. As the principal point of contact for the University in all research related matters, the Vice President represents the regional, national, and international research interests of the University to major research funding agencies and foundations, regional and national research consortia, national laboratories, federal and state agencies, and private sector organizations.

The Vice President has responsibility for all policies and procedures relating to research, technology transfer, economic development, and regulatory compliance; and works closely with the University’s senior leadership, deans, institute directors, and faculty to catalyze, encourage, and support research and scholarly activities. In addition to coordinating with the Idaho Research Foundation, the Vice President has management responsibility for the University of Idaho Office of Research and Economic Development, which includes the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Assurances, the University’s research institutes, and the Office of Technology Transfer.

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet, the Vice President leads university-wide strategic research growth activities, participates in strategic planning and implementation, leverages and coordinates with UI campuses located statewide, and formulates research directions and policies for the institution as a whole. The position will work alongside a newly structured executive team and in close collaboration with the Provost and Executive Vice President and leaders in Advancement, Infrastructure, Finance, as well as other Cabinet members. Serving as a member of the executive leadership team, the successful candidate will work cooperatively to achieve the University’s goals and objectives and become integral to an exciting, innovative leadership that will propel the University of Idaho to achieve the highest standards of excellence.

Responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate the University research infrastructure, including the acquisition of funding, the planning and development of space, and the recruiting of research partners.

  • Initiate, develop, and grow the University’s partnerships with other universities and organizations, with public agencies and granting authorities, and with private sector businesses.

  • Serve as a catalyst for economic growth and development. Bring academic solutions and information to help solve state and national challenges.

  • Manage the administration of sponsored programs, which provide the financial support for a substantial share of the University’s research activity.

  • Assure regulatory research compliance and safety.

  • Function as the University's advocate and spokesperson on research issues, serve as a representative in activities that may produce new research programs and facilities, and sponsor cooperative University initiatives to enhance technology utilization.

  • Oversee the transfer of University-developed technologies for commercialization and thus provide benefits to researchers, the University, and the state of Idaho. Bring creative solutions to managing Intellectual property, open-source opportunities, and efficiencies in contract arrangements with partners.

  • Facilitate campus-wide discussions about future research directions and propose and implement new initiatives to lead expansion of the research enterprise.

  • Propose innovative contract and funding solutions that expand opportunities with industry and other institutions to support the development of research grant proposals to grow research expenditures.

  • Support the University’s campus research infrastructure, including research computing, space, and equipment; and manage off-site and shared research facilities.

  • Ignite passion to recruit and retain faculty and students. Encourage faculty and student participation in research and collaboration to grow UI internships, joint appointments, publications, and post-doctorate opportunities.

  • Work strategically across colleges and with institutions such as McClure Policy Center to remain current on research needs and talent needs of industry within Idaho, first, and nationally.

The Qualifications

Qualifications include an earned doctorate or other academic or professional terminal degree with experience as a dean, department chair, research center/institute director, or faculty researcher; and/or significant research experience within a national laboratory, pharmaceutical company, or other public or private sector organization. In addition, a significant and successful record of leadership experience in a research organization in a complex academic, public, or private sector environment; ability to work effectively with multiple and diverse constituencies with a demonstrated record of developing, organizing, and facilitating large multidisciplinary teams in support of the research enterprise; track record of attracting and managing significant research funding; familiarity with the regulatory and compliance environment for research; and experience with commercialization and technology transfer are essential.

The University seeks an individual with the ability and expertise to strengthen the role of the research office, support and grow ongoing research, enhance the research infrastructure, encourage heightened research funding, and maintain compliance with research sponsor requirements. The position requires a strong collaborator with a record of building relationships among academic units, institutes, university support units, and external stakeholders. Additionally, significant experience with budgetary and human resource management, demonstration of a high level of business leadership skills, and proficiency in strategic planning and implementation will be key.


The University

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation, and the world. The student population numbers 12,000, including first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, at locations in Moscow, Boise, Coeur d'Alene, and Idaho Falls. As the only institution in the state to be classified by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation as higher research activity, University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year.

Consistently recognized as one of the best public colleges in America by The Princeton Review, the University combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and a focus on helping students succeed and become leaders. Over 2,500 faculty and staff support and guide 130 Bachelor's, 88 Master's, and 32 doctoral degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. Through an institution-wide commitment to diversity, multiculturalism, and community, the University actively engages in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and student body.

The University is a dynamic and integral part of the fabric of Idaho, and, as such, plays a key role in the state’s economic development. With programs in all of the state's 44 counties, the University is committed to enhancing the scientific, economic, social, legal, and cultural assets of the state and takes pride in a commitment to teaching, research, agriculture, outreach, extension, and collaboration. The University provides access to publically supported medical education through a multi-state partnership with University of Washington’s School of Medicine, and the College of Law is among the nation’s best small state public law schools. Unique academic partnership opportunities are also afforded with other universities and colleges in Idaho, as well as Washington State University, located only 8 miles away in Pullman.

The residential campus located in Moscow is a place of transformation and lasting traditions. With its research and outreach centers, scientific and artistic advancements enrich lives. The University has more than 200 student organizations, more than 20 minority student groups, and is home to the renowned Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. Vandal athletic teams compete in 16 men's and women's NCAA Division I sports.

For additional information about the University of Idaho, please view the website links below: 

Homepage, click here.

About Research, click here.

Strategic Plan, click here.

About and Did You Know, click here.

Vice President Search Committee Membership, click here.

The Location

Just minutes away from the forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains of northern Idaho, Moscow is home to more than 21,000 residents and the urban amenities of the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane metropolitan area are all within a 100-mile drive. In addition to art galleries, movie theaters, and coffee shops, Moscow offers a large organic and natural foods co-op, Northwest-style pubs, and many locally-owned restaurants.

Moscow is known as the “heart of the arts” for its consistent ranking among the top small arts towns in America. The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival brings some of the world’s best jazz artists, along with 20,000 visitors each year. The ARTWALK, Fresh Aire Concert Series, and Third Street Gallery are a few examples of its dedication to the arts. The Renaissance Fair, a downtown Moscow favorite, celebrates the arrival of spring with artists, crafters, live music, and international foods.

The area is surrounded by the rolling Palouse hills, an area so picturesque it was featured in National Geographic magazine. Reflective of these surroundings, the University ranked in the top 30 in the nation as a "great university to hit the books and backcountry" by Outside magazine. Living and learning in Moscow is just minutes from opportunities for hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, camping, and more.

The University of Idaho is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. It is the policy of the regents that equal opportunity be afforded in education and employment to qualified persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran. It is also the policy of the University of Idaho to not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The Invitation

Application, confidential conversation, or nomination.


To apply, please submit a complete curriculum vitae with a letter of application summarizing your professional qualifications and the accomplishments that reflect the skills, background, and experience to be successful in this key position. Send your application materials to me at the email address below.


To arrange a day and time for a confidential conversation, simply email me at the address below and suggest a few days and times convenient with your schedule.


If a colleague comes to mind you feel might have an interest, I would welcome your nomination. Please forward your nomination to me at the email address below or call me.


Thank you for your consideration,                                                                                                                        

Gary R. Rhoads                                                                                                                                                                 
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