Vice Provost for Research and Chief Innovation Officer

Southern Methodist University

Search for the Vice Provost for Research and Chief Innovation Officer

Dallas, Texas

Southern Methodist University (SMU), a premier private university in North Texas, seeks a dynamic and innovative leader to serve as the next Vice Provost for Research and Chief Innovation Officer (VPR/CIO). Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the VPR/CIO will join SMU at a time of unprecedented growth and momentum and will collaborate with deans, faculty across a wide range of disciplines, and other academic leaders to develop and implement strategic actions that propel SMU forward on the path to join the highest rank of research universities and serve the talent and research needs of a challenging world.

A nonsectarian university with a focus on global impact, SMU serves over 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools and engages 25 PhD programs in science and engineering, social science, humanities, and education. Since its founding more than 100 years ago, SMU has been steadily gaining a reputation as a top academic institution, currently ranked 68th in top National Universities by U.S. News and World Report. Since 2005, SMU has advanced past 55 institutions in the Carnegie Classification of Research Universities and is currently a doctoral university with high research activity (R2), with research expenditures for FY 2020 amounting to $43.04 million. For FY 2022, SMU’s operating budget is $819 million, and the current endowment is valued at $2.1 billion. With the establishment of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies in 2020, thanks to a landmark $100 million commitment from the Moody Foundation, an ambitious strategic plan, and the recent launch of the comprehensive campaign SMU Ignited: Boldy Shaping Tomorrow with a target of $1.5 billion – the largest fundraising goal ever set by a private university in Texas, SMU is well-positioned to achieve Carnegie R1 status in the coming years.

Located near the heart of the dynamic Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, a global center of commerce and culture with one of the highest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the United States, SMU is rich with opportunities for industry partnerships. As the Texas economy booms, companies and institutions look to future-focused universities like SMU for innovative ideas, data-driven research and technology that can accelerate knowledge and tackle grand challenges. It is a pivotal time for a new VPR/CIO to be joining SMU and leveraging the many great assets of the University and the region to lead SMU’s drive to achieve Carnegie R1 status. As the Chief Innovation Officer of the University, the VPR/CIO will oversee strategic planning to guide University investments with the goals of increasing externally funded research, expanding interdisciplinary research, and improving SMU’s research infrastructure. The VPR/CIO will build on current University research strengths, including supercomputing and data science, and foster and expand partnerships both within the University and with other institutions of higher learning, corporations, foundations, and government entities.  

The VPR/CIO will be a strategic thinker who is energetic and motivated to address a set of key opportunities and challenges, which are detailed further in the profile:

  • Facilitate a unifying vision and strategy to expand the research enterprise and advance SMU to R1 status
  • Develop an integrated, service-oriented research infrastructure to further unlock research potential
  • Promote and support interdisciplinary research to fully leverage assets of the University
  • Serve as a compelling advocate for SMU research to establish sustainable partnerships and amplify impact regionally and nationally

Southern Methodist University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Julie Fillizetti and Phuong Ta

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

SMU will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, education activity, or admissions on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX1 Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Executive Director/Title IX Coordinator may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,