Lincoln (Neb.) - March 16, 1999 - Marsha R. Torr, a physicist with broad experience as a scientist and administrator in higher education and in government, has been named vice chancellor for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln pending approval by the NU Board of Regents.
Torr, who is vice provost for research and professor of physics at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and executive director of the South Carolina Research Institute, will begin her new duties at Nebraska April 15 with an annual salary of $153,000. She replaces Priscilla Grew.
"I look forward to working once again with Marsha Torr," said Chancellor James Moeser, who came to NU from South Carolina in 1996. "At the University of South Carolina, she has provided strong leadership to significantly increase that university's research productivity over a four-year period. The task at Nebraska will be similar to the one she faced there - to mobilize an excellent faculty to respond to major opportunities by creating new teams of faculty researchers, sometimes crossing traditional disciplinary lines, to go after major funding opportunities.
"We have an excellent and highly productive faculty, but we have not organized the university's resources in an effective way to take full advantage of our own intellectual capital. That will be Dr. Torr's charge - to mobilize our resources, both human and financial, to become a major player among the nation's research universities."
Torr said she looks forward to meeting those challenges.
"I am delighted that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has chosen me for the position of vice chancellor for research. This is both an honor and a wonderful opportunity for me," said Torr, who will have a tenured faculty appointment as professor in the department of physics and astronomy. "I have been impressed with the faculty, staff and administrators that I have met and am greatly looking forward to working with them.
"So many of the complex problems that the world must face as we go into the next millennium - problems such as drug-resistant disease, the world's food supply, climate change, the education of our children, building strong social structures - are areas in which the University of Nebraska will and must play a leading role."
Born and educated in South Africa, Torr came to the United States in 1973 as a visiting research associate for Cornell University (1974-77) based at the University of Michigan. From 1977 to 1979, she was an associate research scientist at Mighigan and was professor of physics at Utah State University from 1979 to 1985. She then spent 10 years at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., heading the Atomic Physics Branch from 1985 to 1991, serving as chief of the Solar-Terrestrial Physics Division from 1987 to 1993 and as chief scientist for the Payload Projects Office for two years before going to South Carolina.
Grew, vice chancellor for research since 1993, will take
administrative development leave and will return to the faculty
in the fall of 2000 as a professor in the department of
geosciences and professor in the Conservation and Survey Division
of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
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