New VP for research announced

Dr. Brian Herman will replace Tim Mulcahy Jan. 1, pending Board of Regents approval.

Emma Nelson

The University of Minnesota announced its new vice president for research Thursday, following a five-month search.

Dr. Brian Herman, a professor and administrator at the University of Texas, will begin the job Jan. 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

Herman said he was drawn to the University because of its reputation for research, the infrastructure built by current vice president for research Tim Mulcahy and the University’s leadership.

The University of Minnesota’s research expenditures have increased 49.4 percent since 2004, according to a survey by the National Science Foundation.

Mulcahy became the University of Minnesota’s vice president for research in February 2005. He will retire in December.

In 2011, Mulcahy earned the University’s 40th-highest salary — more than $260,000.

Herman’s salary will be $305,000 per year plus $15,000 annually in retirement benefits. The University will also provide Herman with up to $20,000 for moving expenses.

For the past two years, Herman has served as chancellor’s health fellow in collaboration for the University of Texas system and special assistant to the president for the University of Texas Health Science Center.

He was also the first vice president for research at the University of Texas Health Science Center, serving in the position for 7 years.

Herman started the position when the university was re-evaluating how it wanted to organize research in the future, said Kenneth Kalkwarf, president ad interim of the Health Science Center.

Herman “did a remarkable job” in reorganizing the university’s research infrastructure, Kalkwarf said.

“To get a campus to move, people say, sometimes is like turning a battleship,” he said. “Brian did a very good job of turning our battleship.”

President Eric Kaler appointed a search committee in May. It was co-chaired by Aaron Friedman, vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the Medical School, and Steve Crouch, dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

The committee held off-campus interviews with about 12 people, Crouch said. Three finalists were chosen, including Herman, Mark M. Banaszak Holl of the University of Michigan and Meredith Hay of the University of Arizona.

The finalists gave public on-campus talks as part of the interview process and attendees gave feedback.

The choice to appoint Herman to the position reflects not only the opinions of the University’s senior leadership but of faculty, staff and other administrators as well, Crouch said.

Herman said he only expects one challenge in his new position.

“It’s cold,” he said. “I’m starting Jan. 1 and I’m from Texas.”