UVM seeks new research vice president


Stephan Toljan/Vermont Cynic

Richard Galbraith, UVM vice president of research, stands before a board of trustees meeting, Jan. 31. Galbraith will continue his work at the UVM Cancer Center.

UVM has been searching for a new vice president of research since November 2019, but only notified the UVM community about the change in leadership Feb. 5.

Dr. Richard Galbraith, current vice president of research at UVM, will step down once the University finds a replacement, he said. Additionally, Galibraith said he has taken on the position of interim co-director of the UVM Cancer Center.

Galbraith has been at UVM for 25 years and has served as vice president of research for the last five years. In this position Galbraith has been responsible for overseeing all research at the University.

Research grants from all seven colleges at UVM go through Galbraith’s office. He is responsible for receiving the grant money, setting up an account and tracking the spending.

Last year alone Galbraith’s department supervised $114 million in outside funding.

“After student tuition, it’s the biggest single number in our budget,” Galbraith said.

Faculty and students working on projects that require less money or equipment should not feel like their work is any less important, he said.

“I’m for all faculty and different faculty need different things. I mean, a cancer center lab maybe needs $2 million to run,” Galbraith said. “A historian needs $20,000 to work quietly in the library and write. Those are both equally valuable things.”

Linda Schadler, dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, is the chair of the search committee for Galibrath’s replacement.

She said the committee is looking for someone who has a lot of experience with both conducting research and managing the financial aspect of research.

The search committee for Galbraith’s successor has been chaired by the dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Linda Schadler, who says that they are looking for a candidate who has significant experience administering research.

Additionally, Schadler said that the committee is looking for someone who will be able to bring people together to develop new, creative ideas that can be marketed for external funding.

UVM is looking to invest more into research in order to improve the University’s ranking on the Carnegie Classification of research institutions, Schadler said.

UVM is currently rated as a High Research Activity university which is below the Very High Research Activity university ranking.

“The vice president of research position is important for where we’re trying to go as a university,” she said as to the importance of finding the right candidate for this position.

On Feb. 5, Schadler sent an email to the UVM community announcing that five candidates have been selected and a final round of interviews were to be done, before President Suresh Garimella makes a final decision.