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UNC Charlotte rebrands research department with new name, leadership, goals

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) is reshaping its division overseeing university research. This includes new leadership, a new name, and renewed focus, effective November 1.

The Division of Research and Economic Development will become the Division of Research under the leadership of Interim Vice Chancellor for Research John Daniels and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Deb Thomas.

Among the changes now in effect are:

  • The Cost Analysis and Cash Management unit of the Office of Grants and Contracts Administration will join the Division of Business Affairs to maximize the resources available in processing the distribution of funds and the management of faculty research awards.
  • Responsibilities for economic development activities will shift to align with efforts in Corporate Engagement in the Office of External Relations and Partnerships, under the leadership of Betty Doster. This will involve moving open positions, not current staff members. All offices and units that directly support research activities will remain within the Division of Research.
  • Ventureprise, the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship center for faculty, students, and community members, also will temporarily become part of External Relations and Partnerships.

“The organizational changes announced today bring UNC Charlotte into alignment with well-funded competitors and aspirational institutions,” Daniels said in this release. “I’m thrilled to work with Chancellor Sharon Gaber, Dr. Thomas, and our colleagues and students to help make the pursuit of research, innovation, and creative work as efficient and fulfilling as possible.”

Daniels and Thomas will begin long-term appointments that run through June 30, 2024, with an option for renewal after that time.

Daniels, who has been with the University for 22 years, has chaired the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2012. Thomas joined Charlotte in 2018 and serves as chair of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences.

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