Carnegie Mellon University
September 15, 2021

Announcing the Search for CMU’s Vice President for Research

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As you may recall, earlier this summer, I announced J. Michael McQuade’s retirement from his full-time role as Vice President for Research (VPR) and that Daryl Weinert, CMU’s Vice President for Operations, will serve as Interim VPR while we initiate a search for a new vice president. Today, I am pleased to officially launch a comprehensive, global search for Carnegie Mellon’s next Vice President for Research.

This critical leadership position will provide executive oversight and strategic guidance to CMU’s world-class research and innovation enterprise while also fostering an entrepreneurial climate campus-wide. Reporting directly to me, the VPR will serve as a key member of the senior leadership team and will work in partnership with academic leadership and faculty to advance cutting-edge ideas and research initiatives across the entire university. The VPR also will be a lead ambassador for the university in forming new alliances and stewarding already deep relationships with federal agencies and industry and foundation partners.

The new vice president will also ensure the smooth operation of the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the units that report to it, including the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation, the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Research Systems and Operations, the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance, and Government Relations – all of which are vitally important to our research ecosystem. In addition, this leader will oversee the Software Engineering Institute and will participate in the oversight of our Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Business Engagement. The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial, collaborative and inclusive leader, with a demonstrated commitment to the university’s foundational values.

I am grateful to Bill Sanders, the Dr. William D. and Nancy W. Strecker Dean of the College of Engineering, and Mary Jo Dively, Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary of the Corporation, who have agreed to co-chair the search advisory committee. The other members of the search advisory committee are: 

  • Burcu Akinci, the Paul Christiano Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering;
  • Erica Cochran Hameen, Assistant Professor of Architecture, College of Fine Arts;
  • Tom Longstaff, Chief Technology Officer, Software Engineering Institute;
  • Tim McNulty, Associate Vice President of Government Relations; 
  • Curtis Meyer, the Otto Stern Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for Research, Mellon College of Science;
  • Dan Nagin, the Teresa And H. John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics and Associate Dean of Faculty, Heinz College;
  • Alan Scheller-Wolf, the Richard M. Cyert Professor of Operations Management, Tepper School of Business;
  • Srinivasan Seshan, Professor and Department Head of Computer Science, School of Computer Science;
  • Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Director of the Neuroscience Institute, and the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Auditory Neuroscience;
  • Keith Webster, Dean, University Libraries;
  • Cheryl Wehrer, Director for Finance and Administration, Robotics Institute; and
  • Rick Siger, Senior Advisor to the President for Economic Development and Community Engagement (ex-officio).

I wish to thank the members of the search committee for their commitment and service to the university. As part of its charge, the committee will play an active role in identifying qualified individuals, encouraging nominations and applications, and monitoring the confidential applicant pool to ensure quality and diversity. The committee also will actively engage key university stakeholders to obtain input on select candidates.

The committee will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson Miller. Please visit the search website to review the position prospectus and to submit nominations.

As previously shared, I am grateful to Michael McQuade for his continued service to CMU as a senior advisor on some of our most important strategic initiatives and to Daryl Weinert for his willingness to take on the responsibility of the Interim VPR role.

A robust research enterprise is core to our mission and touches nearly every corner of this university. I look forward to working with the search committee to recruit a vice president who will build upon our extraordinary momentum as a top-tier research institution. 


Farnam Jahanian
Henry L. Hillman President’s Chair