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University of Minnesota's VP for research to retire

  • Blog Post by: Jenna Ross
  • March 20, 2012 - 12:48 PM

 

Photo by Glen Stubbe

Photo by Glen Stubbe

The University of Minnesota vice president who has led its effort to be better with business and stronger in research is retiring. Tim Mulcahy, vice president for research, announced Tuesday that he will retire in December.

Mulcahy oversees an $800 million externally funded research program that has grown since he took the job in 2005.

In an interview, he said that he has planned for an early retirement and gave new U President Eric Kaler a heads up before Kaler took the job. Mulcahy, 60, who holds a doctorate in pathology and radiological sciences, will not join the faculty, he said, and has no interest in top posts at other universities. "I've told a lot of people, and I mean this, that if you're going to work, this is the best job in the university to have," he said. "I wouldn't want any other."

He plans to travel, spend time with his grandchildren, take photographs and fish. "I'm going to become a gentleman of leisure," he quipped.

The University of Minnesota recruited Mulcahy in 2005 from its rival University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was associate vice chancellor for research policy. Read business reporter Thomas Lee's profile of Mulcahy, "His job: Magician," here.

Kaler has picked Aaron Friedman, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Medical School, and Steven Crouch, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, as co-chairs of a national search for Mulcahy's successor, according to a press release.

Kaler said in a statement that Mulcahy "is recognized as a solid leader by those inside and outside the university. We understand that it will be a big pair of shoes to fill."

Mulcahy said that his successor "is going to have to maintain the credibility I think we've built up."

He hopes to consult and continue serving on boards focused on innovation and research in the Midwest, he said. "We have to find ways to muster the true strength that we have ... to compete with at least the impression that everything is being done on the two coasts."

Since he start, Kaler has touted Mulcahy's work in speeches to business leaders. Here's an excerpt from Kaler's talk at the governor's job summit in October:

 

Under Vice President Mulcahy's leadership, we have moved forward tremendously to enhance commercialization of University-based technologies and facilitate and enrich University-business interaction. 

Tim has stepped up our game over the past several years, hiring staff with industry and small company experience, and promoting entrepreneurial development. The Office of Business Relations was created to serve as the U's "front door" to the business community and help connect you with the talent, training and technology that you need.

We're pretty self-critical, too, at the U.

Tim recently brought in tech transfer leaders from Columbia, Wisconsin and Stanford - three places that do tech transfer pretty well - and they said, "You do what you do as well as anybody in the country."

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