Research Vice Provost to leave
Vice Provost for Research James Coleman will leave Rice to become Dean of the Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, effective July 15.
"Jim has really made a huge contribution to Rice's research and to the infrastructure needed to support the faculty," Vice President of Public Affairs Linda Thrane said.
During his time here he helped the university get over $100 million in sponsored research grants, both from the government and from private institutions, Thrane said.
Coleman, also a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has been at Rice since 2007.
VCU, Virginia's largest public university, has 15,000 students in its Humanities and Science department, where Coleman will be working.
"VCU is extraodinarily transformational and I am very excited to be going to a high-quality place that truly has a public mission, providing the most opportunities possible for students," Coleman said.
Because VCU was founded in 1969, it is still working on establishing its research basis. Coleman said he hopes to develop new relationships with alumni community leaders and create profiles for the quality of research facilities.
"It is an advantage to understand the challenges that happen with research and what's important at the university level," Coleman said.
Thrane, who worked with Coleman to communicate research updates to the university, emphasized how much the university has benefited from Coleman's efforts.
"In addition to being a brilliant researcher, he is really a great friend and human being," Thrane said. "I will miss him for the friendship and warmth he brought to Rice."
More from The Rice Thresher
“The broader university has a strategic plan — the V2C2 — and then each of the different schools are tasked with coming up with their own strategic plan,” Karlgaard said. “So I think there is a question about, ‘Should the general student body be involved in each of those strategic plans? If you are an English major, should you have input in the engineering strategic plan? If you are a non student-athlete, should you have input into the athletics strategic plan?’“
Class of 2019 graduates came to Saturday morning’s commencement with their caps, gowns, stoles and umbrellas. Despite forecasted downpours and the proposed alternative venue of Tudor Fieldhouse, both Friday and Saturday ceremonies were held outside. Like their matriculation ceremony four years ago, the graduates saw rain fall as they were granted their degrees.
“I truly believe we find our unique purpose in that space, because no one can be copied to the T,” Uzodike said. “We have a lot to bring to the table and I just want to remind people that no matter what space they find themselves in, they should never abandon the traits, gifts or skills that make them unique.”