Brad Shelton named as interim VPRI

As announced on April 15, Dr. Kimberly Andrews Espy will be leaving the University of Oregon on May 23 to take a new position at the University of Arizona. After consulting with a number of faculty and administration colleagues over the last few weeks, the President and I have made some decisions about how best to transfer the responsibilities of the office for Research, Innovation, and Graduate Education. Beginning Tuesday, May 27, we will separate the responsibilities of Graduate Education from Research and Innovation. Today, we are pleased to be naming two interim positions, both of which will report directly to me.

It is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Brad Shelton, Vice Provost for Budget and Planning for the last five years, has agreed to take on the added responsibilities of Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation. Brad has been with the UO since 1985. He is a Professor of Mathematics who has mentored 12 PhDs during his tenure and served as head of the department from 2001 to 2008. His research areas include noncommutative algebraic geometry, noncommutative ring theory and homological algebra. He remains an active researcher, whose most recent projects are in the theory of Koszul algebras, generalized Koszul algebras and connections between noncommutative rings and combinatorial algebraic topology.

A Wayne Westling awardee for University Leadership and Service in 2009, Brad has served the university through membership and leadership on the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, the Faculty Advisory Council, and the Faculty Personnel Committee. He has been instrumental in the design, implementation, and management of the Oregon Budget Model and the Integrated Data and Reporting Project. He will continue to be actively engaged in collaborative activities with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Provost’s Office on the strategic budget process, and he will continue to be involved in strategic investment decisions – such as the Faculty Excellence Cluster Hire process. Starting May 27, we will address the office as the Office of Research and Innovation.

I am equally pleased to announce that Dr. J. Andrew Berglund, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, has agreed to be the interim Dean of the Graduate School. An active supporter of graduate education who has instructed graduate courses, Andy runs a robust National Institutes of Health- and foundation-supported research lab with many graduate students who themselves have been successful in receiving external support from the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. While serving most recently as Interim Associate Dean, he incorporated his significant expertise and investment in student professional development into his new role, working to offer outlets for graduate students to enhance their professional careers while completing their graduate studies.

Andy has been instrumental in enhancing our Graduate Research Forum programming by including judges from the UO and regional businesses. He has shaped the new Dixon Innovation Award, which seeks to help doctoral students build transferable skill sets in preparation for careers outside academia. Additionally, Andy co-led the development two years ago of a new track in the biology master’s program for bioinformatics, which combines coursework at the UO with internships in industry, academics, and government. Since arriving at the UO in 2002, Andy has had many notable achievements and honors, including receiving  the Basil O’Connor Scholarship from the March of Dimes of Foundation. He has been a member of the Department of Chemistry's Graduate Recruiting Committee since 2004, serving as chair of the committee since 2010. Andy has served as director of graduate studies for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for the past three years, and has mentored more than 20 PhD and masters students.

Graduate Education and Research are intrinsically linked our expectation is that the two units will continue to have many points of intersection both administratively and conceptually. I look forward to Andy and Brad working collaboratively with me on administering the graduate, research and innovation portfolios.

It is our intention to very quickly launch searches for permanent replacements for these two interim positions. By the end of May, we hope to have identified a committee for a national search for a Vice President for Research and Innovation.  We expect to do an internal search for a permanent Dean of the Graduate School and aim to have the search committee named before the end of the school year. If you have suggestions for individuals who might serve on either of these search committees please forward them to my assistant, Kathy Warden, at

Please join me in thanking our two colleagues for taking on these additional responsibilities and serving in these very important leadership positions.

Scott Coltrane
Senior Vice President and Provost