Vice President for Research

Search for the Vice President for Research
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), a distinguished public undergraduate and Master's level institution located in San Luis Obispo, California, seeks an innovative and collaborative research leader to serve as the Vice President for Research (VP Research). This role is an opportunity for an experienced, entrepreneurial, and tactical builder to make their mark at the top public masters-level university in California and one of the top 25 public and private universities in the West (U.S. News & World Report). Cal Poly is home to an engaged community of students, staff, and faculty committed to robust teaching, scholarship, and service in a "Learn by Doing" environment in which all community members are partners in discovery.

The VP Research is responsible for university-wide advocacy for research, scholarship, and creative activity and promotes the value of a diverse range of scholarly and applied research activities for faculty, staff, and students. The VP Research reports to the Executive Vice President/Provost and works in close partnership with University Development and other administrators, including but not limited to, the CEO of the Cal Poly Corporation, the academic deans, and the Dean of Graduate Education.

Core to the research division is the "Learn by Doing" philosophy that underscores the institution's mission as a polytechnic university where students, staff, and faculty are partners in discovery. Cal Poly provides extensive undergraduate and graduate (master's level) research, scholarship, and creative activity programs, in addition to extensive applied research programs. The VP Research proactively fosters an environment in which the research, scholarly, and creative accomplishments of faculty and students are encouraged and rewarded. Growing such a research unit within a preeminent campus of the California State University system is ultimately of service to the state of California: the VP Research seeks to develop wide-reaching economic support of these research activities and promotes the reputation of Cal Poly's research, scholarship, and creative activities (RSCA) locally, nationally, and internationally.

To achieve the many ambitions of the campus, the next VP Research will address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Develop and execute a unifying vision and strategy to significantly grow the research enterprise in alignment with Cal Poly's "Learn by Doing" mission;
  • Further develop a cohesive, supportive, robust administrative infrastructure that enables the effective execution of the research division's important services;
  • Ensure sufficient resources are in place to fully support research operations and to incentivize RSCA;
  • Build meaningful, productive collaborations across the Cal Poly campus;
  • Establish and expand sustainable regional and national partnerships to substantially increase RSCA opportunities and funding for the campus.

    The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. The anticipated starting date for the position is mid-June 2023.

    To apply, visit to complete the required online Cal Poly Application. In addition, each applicant must provide as separate attachments to the online application a detailed curriculum vitae or resume, a cover letter, and a diversity statement. The cover letter should address the applicant's qualifications and experience for this position, including a personal statement of the applicant's views on academic administration, experiences with and views on leadership, and their management style.

    Inquiries, nominations, and referrals may be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: .

    David Bellshaw, Brian Burbank, Carley Davenport, and Nancy Pan
    Isaacson, Miller
    1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees, and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

    Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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