May 12, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 17

Smyer to Relinquish Research Post

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael Smyer will step down as associate vice president for research effective July 1, the University announced this week.

Smyer will remain as GSAS dean and, in addition, will become the co-director, along with Asst. Prof. Martha Pitt-Catsouphes (GSSW), of the new Center on Aging and Work.

Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties John Neuhauser said an interim associate vice president for research will be appointed from the faculty, and that Boston College will shortly launch a national search for a permanent, full-time successor to Smyer, who accepted the joint appointment as GSAS dean-associate VP at BC in 1994.

Smyer said his decision to step down from the research position was prompted by the University's needs as well as an opportunity to help lead the soon-to-be-established center, part of a BC Institute on Aging envisioned in the University's Assessment and Planning Initiative [see story].

"The associate vice president's portfolio has grown in the 11 years I've been here," said Smyer. "BC has doubled the amount of external funding in the past decade, to $40 million, which has greatly increased the research activity on campus.

"At the same time, BC's research programs face a raft of complex issues, such as intellectual property and the use of human subjects, that demand constant review and discussion. The combination of these factors have made it important that BC consider a full-time research officer.

"So in fact, this represents an opportunity for BC to move ahead into two critical areas: continuing to progress as a major research institution; and devoting resources to the study of aging."

Neuhauser had high praise for Smyer's work as associate vice president: "He's done a tremendous job, and the numbers alone testify to that. But Mick has definitely been instrumental in creating the climate for research at BC. The University's success is a tribute to his encouragement, and in particular his championing of the Office of Sponsored Programs."

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