U hires new vice president of research

Bryce Haugen

The six-month-long search for a new University vice president for research has ended.

R. Timothy Mulcahy, an associate dean for biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate school, will move to Minnesota to take the position Feb. 1. He will replace interim vice president for research David Hamilton, who plans to return to teaching.

Mulcahy’s hiring received approval from the Board of Regents on Friday.

From his office in Madison, Wis., Mulcahy, 53, said he was delighted to join a university with a strong research program.

He said he would use his new role not only to support research on campus, but to promote it throughout the country.

“I will do everything I can to make it easier for faculty, staff and students to do cutting-edge research,” he said.

For the last 29 years, Mulcahy has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent 20 years as a cancer researcher before becoming a research administrator nine years ago.

University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks said Mulcahy’s experience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison made him an appealing choice.

“Based on the interviews, we thought he was the strongest candidate to lead the research enterprise of this institution,” he said.

University of Minnesota Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost E. Thomas Sullivan agreed.

“He’s just everything we were looking for,” he said.

A search committee began selecting finalists for the research position last March.

Search committee chairman Mark Paller, the Academic Health Center assistant vice president for research, said the committee sifted through 40 applications and written nominations. The committee narrowed the search to three finalists in early August, he said.

Bruininks made the final decision after receiving feedback from faculty, staff and administrators who met with the finalists during their visits to campus this summer, Paller said.

“Everything went well from start to finish,” Paller said. “We had a large number of very talented candidates, three very good finalists and we ended up with an outstanding new vice president for research.”

One finalist was interim Vice President Hamilton, who Bruininks said displayed “extraordinary leadership” during his two years on the job.

Hamilton said he has no hard feelings and is proud of his accomplishments.

“I’m really excited to be going back to the faculty,” he said. “At the age of 69, I’ve had enough administrating.”

When he took the job, his predecessor offered no help with the transition, Hamilton said. So he created a transition booklet to aid his successor, he said.

Mulcahy said the booklet will help him “hit the ground running.”

He said he’s excited to work with the “experienced and dedicated” staff in the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“I’m ready to be a Gopher,” he said.