Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud, who early in his career served as a Supreme Court law clerk, offers thoughts on the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Justice Ginsburg was among the most impactful lawyers and judges of our time….
Zhanjiang ‘John’ Liu Named Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost, Ramesh Raina to Serve as Interim Vice President for Research
Chancellor Kent Syverud has named Vice President for Research Zhanjiang “John” Liu to the position of interim vice chancellor and provost, effective Jan. 6, 2020, following the announcement by Michele Wheatly that she would step down to become special advisor to the Chancellor.
“We are fortunate to have a scholar and leader of the highest caliber ready to take on the responsibilities and leadership during this critical time,” says Chancellor Syverud. “John has strengthened the research enterprise here and implemented innovative initiatives since he arrived on campus two years ago.”
Liu came to Syracuse University in September 2017 from Auburn University, where he was associate provost and associate vice president for research and a member of the faculty in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences.
“When I arrived on campus two years ago, I was excited to be part of a top tier Carnegie R1 research enterprise. I have also come to deeply appreciate the efforts to improve both the undergraduate and graduate student experience here inside and outside the classroom,” says Liu. “Now, with clear momentum from the Academic Strategic Plan, and investments in faculty and student life, Syracuse University is poised to become a world-class university with unsurpassed student experience and top tier research. We will continue our strong focus on attracting diverse and talented faculty interested in interdisciplinary research; such scholar educators will provide cutting edge education to our students who will be ready to take on the global challenges. I am honored that the Chancellor has asked me to serve in the interim provost role during this transition.”
As vice president for research, Liu oversees the Office of Research and its component units: the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Integrity and Protections, the Office of Technology Transfer and the Office of Proposal Support Services. He serves on the University’s leadership team, working to promote partnerships across departments, disciplines, schools and colleges. He also works to advance translational research and discoveries as well as inventions development and their path to market place.
During Liu’s tenure as vice president for research, the University has made significant investments in support of faculty and students, including the establishment of new research clusters and the Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program, which helps faculty become more competitive in securing external funding and sponsorship.
Chancellor Syverud also announced that Ramesh Raina, professor and chair of the Department of Biology, will serve as interim vice president for research. Raina was instrumental in launching the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement, known as the SOURCE, a hub for student research, creativity and discovery. Raina is also co-director of the interdisciplinary major in biotechnology and a member of the core faculty of the Renée Crown University Honors Program. Raina served ably as chair of the University Senate Agenda Committee from 2017-2019.
“Syracuse University has made significant strides advancing its global research portfolio across all academic disciplines over the last several years. Never before have I seen such excitement and momentum in all facets of research, scholarship and creative activity,” says Raina. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead during this time of transition and look forward to working with Chancellor Syverud, John, our deans and our extraordinary faculty to elevate our research enterprise further.”
Chancellor Syverud plans to work with University stakeholders to appoint a search committee for a new provost during the spring semester.