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March 20, 2013

Rob Clark to lead Hajim School, research efforts

Dean of the Hajim School reappointed and named senior vice president for research

Clark and his wife
In acknowledging that Rob Clark would now be “wearing two hats” as senior vice president for research and dean of the Hajim School, President Joel Seligman presented him with a cap displaying the all-encompassing Rochester “R.” Clark was joined by his wife, Dana, during the announcement of his appointments.

Robert Clark has been named senior vice president for research and has been appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the Hajim School. Both five-year appointments have been approved by the Board of Trustees and are effective April 1. Clark was selected as senior vice president for research—a position he has most recently filled in an interim role—following a national search.

“Rob’s service as dean and interim senior vice president for research has been exemplary, and I am delighted to appoint him to both roles,” says President Joel Seligman, who made the announcement at a March 5 event in Goergen Hall. “He is an academic leader of extraordinary energy and focus, with the ability to listen and work well with a variety of constituencies. I was deeply impressed by the overwhelming support he received to be reappointed as Hajim School dean, and the strong endorsement of his abilities to dually manage the trajectory of our interdisciplinary research excellence. Few other academic leaders could wear both hats.”

“I know I speak for the entire board in expressing my enthusiasm that Rob will serve the University in these two critical roles,” says Ed Hajim, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees and a 1958 engineering graduate of the University. “Rob is a thoughtful strategist and proven leader with the impressive credentials that make him supremely qualified for these positions at the University. And as a member of the business community, I see Rob as a great ambassador to this very important area of our economy.”

In summer 2012, the Board of Trustees approved a restructuring of the provost’s position recommended by Seligman and announced the new senior vice president for research position, charged with shaping the initiatives and infrastructure of the University’s rapidly growing research enterprise. The position manages the University’s online academic initiatives, the research component of information technology, and oversees the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the Sponsored University Research Group, Office of Research Projects Administration, Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of Research Alliances, Office of Human Subjects Protection/Research Subjects Review Board, the Office of Technology Transfer, and the University’s Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI).

Clark was named as the first interim senior vice president for research in June and has since orchestrated a comprehensive review of information technology, supervised efforts to pilot online programs, and helped secure $5 million of support for the HSCCI through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.

The national search for the senior vice president for research began in October. Clark was selected from among four finalists who were interviewed by a search committee, as well as 25 University senior and academic leaders and Board of Trustees advisory committee members.

As Hajim School dean since 2008, Clark has grown and strengthened the faculty, introduced crossdisciplinary master’s programs—including an MS in technical entrepreneurship management in collaboration with the Simon School—and significantly increased the undergraduate enrollment in engineering. He also successfully led Hajim’s ABET accreditation efforts and has provided key leadership in the school’s 2016 fundraising campaign goal.

“Rob has been a prodigiously talented dean of the Hajim School, and we are fortunate to have him at the helm for another five years,” says Peter Lennie, provost and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. “I look forward to continued close collaboration with Rob as a he takes on his new responsibilities for research. His energy and breadth of vision will be immensely important at a time when university research is facing great challenges.”

Clark joined the University in 2008 from Duke University, after serving as senior associate dean and dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. His expertise in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing has led to 130 journal publications and earned him many awards. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

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