Lincoln, (Neb.) - June 22, 1998 - Priscilla C. Grew, vice chancellor for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1993, has resigned that post to pursue research and teaching in an emerging area of study concerning the effects of past climate change on human societies.
Richard Edwards, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, praised Grew, noting, "She has provided important leadership for the campus's research activities during a critical time. I am delighted that she will be continuing at Nebraska, as a faculty member in our new geosciences department."
Grew's resignation as vice chancellor for research becomes effective Dec. 31 and she will take administrative development leave from Jan. 1 through June 30, 1999. On July 1, 1999, she will assume her tenured appointment as professor in the department of geosciences and non-tenured appointment as professor in the Conservation and Survey Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Known as "paleoclimate and civilization," her chosen research theme explores climate change as a possible factor for changes in past civilizations previously thought to have been caused by political strife and social unrest.
"I'm choosing to enter this field because I want to work with the people around the country who are doing research in this controversial and largely unexplored area," Grew said. "It's a chance to work on something that has always fascinated me."
Grew is a co-organizer with leading national academics of a session about paleoclimate and civilization at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science next January. She is a fellow of the association and past chair of the national section on geology and geography.
Grew said she plans to propose a new course in paleoclimate and civilization and a multi-disciplinary campus seminar series of national speakers. She hopes to invite collaborations between the College of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
"Dr. Grew's teaching will be a great addition to our program," Edwards said. "She'll be able to draw upon the extensive international network of research colleagues she has developed while vice chancellor for research."
Brian Foster, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, "We have had a major restructuring in geosciences and she will bring more resources to that program as a highly connected, new and highly valued faculty member. We are very excited about it. She will bring a lot to the department."
As vice chancellor, Grew oversaw research administration at the university, interdisciplinary research centers, the University of Nebraska State Museum, the University of Nebraska Press and other research support programs. Edwards said the university would begin an immediate national search and expects to have a permanent replacement for Grew named by January 1999, so no interim appointment is needed.
Before joining the university administration in September
1993, Grew was director of the Minnesota Geological Survey at the
University of Minnesota. Before that, she was commissioner of the
California Public Utilities Commission from 1981-86. Former
director of the Department of Conservation for the State of
California, Grew also held academic appointments at the
University of California at Los Angeles and Boston College. She
earned her undergraduate degree in geology magna cum laude at
Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in geology at the University of
California at Berkeley.
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