New Era of Research at Michigan Tech

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Technological University has entered a new era of research, Vice President for Research David Reed told the University’s Board of Trustees at its meeting Friday, April 28, 2017. 

Michigan Tech’s research enterprise has been expanding steadily, hitting $72.5 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2016, he reported. 

What is the next step?  “Everyone says we need to reach the next level as a research institution,” Reed said.   He defined “the next level” as being the primary institution on an increasing number of large, multi-institutional research projects funded by a variety of sponsors and including nationally recognized research institutions, including Michigan Tech.

Within the past year, Michigan Tech has been the lead on four different projects that meet these criteria:

  • Environmental Protection Agency Regional Environmental Finance Center.
  • Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Research Institute.
  • Department of Transportation Beyond Traffic Innovation Center.

“This demonstrates that Michigan Tech is increasingly receiving external recognition as a major national and international technological research institution,” Reed said.  “We are at the next level. The challenge is to sustain and accelerate this activity.”

Presidential Search Process

After regretfully accepting President Glenn Mroz’s announcement of his intention to return to the faculty in June 2018, Board Chair Terry Woychowski outlined the procedure that the University will follow to conduct a presidential search. 

The Board will start the process on May 5 by soliciting nominations to serve on a Presidential Search Committee from various sectors of the University community.

The Board Chair will appoint the search committee which will be composed of four Board of Trustees members,  three faculty members  nominated by the University Senate,  two professional staff nominated by the Senate, one academic administrator nominated by the provost, one graduate student nominated by the Graduate Student Government, one undergraduate nominated by the Undergraduate Student Government and one local alumnus/alumna who will also serve as a community member, nominated by Alumni Engagement.  The Board may appoint additional search committee members as it deems necessary, Woychowski said.

The deadline for search committee nominations is May 24. The Board will announce the members of the Search Committee at a special Board meeting on June 2.

“The Board’s goal is to have representatives from colleges and departments across campus and reflect multiple dimensions of the University’s diversity, including viewpoints and professional experiences,” Woychowski said.   He then appointed Board of Trustees members Julie Fream, Bob Jacquart, Bill Johnson as chair and Brenda Ryan as vice chair to serve on the Presidential Search Committee. 

“The Board is committed to a transparent process and will be providing updates throughout the search,” Woychowski noted.

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved a proposed fiscal year 2018 general fund operating budget of $205,382,566, a $4.3 million increase over FY 2017, and authorized the administration to revise it to reflect any changes in state appropriations or tuition cap, while maintaining a balanced budget.
  • Appointed Pradeep Agrawal as professor with tenure and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Appointed Audra Morse as professor with tenure and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, effective July 1, 2017.
  • Approved a new PhD program in integrative physiology, which will be sent to the State Academic Affairs Committee for their approval.
  • Approved 14 promotions from assistant professor without tenure to associate professor with tenure and eight promotions from associate professor with tenure to full professor with tenure. The Board also approved five promotions from lecturer to senior lecturer and one promotion from senior lecturer to principal lecturer.
  • Heard that 675 undergraduates and 270 graduate degrees will be announced at Commencement on April 29.
  • Granted emeritus status to Martin Auer and Ralph Hodek, both professors of civil and environmental engineering.
  • Recognized Allen Olson for 35 years of service to the University.
  • Elected Terry Woychowski Board chair and Brenda Ryan vice chair for the coming year.
  • Learned that $46.8 million has been raised so far in 2017.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

Last Modified 10:44 p.m. December, 11 2018