As you will have learned earlier this morning, our friend and colleague Prem Paul has made the personal decision to step down from the role of Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development effective today. It is with deepest regret that I have accepted his decision to return to the faculty as distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.
One has to look long and hard to find another person in the 147-year history of the University of Nebraska who has achieved the level of impact of Prem Paul. Since he came to Lincoln on July 1, 2001 to lead the University’s research efforts, we have become a much bigger, bolder, and more impactful institution in our contributions of research, scholarship, and creative activity. Prem’s vision, coupled with his relentless energy and enthusiasm to “think big”, has been nothing short of remarkable in how it has transformed us as a research-intensive University. We are a better place contributing in deeper and greater reach than ever before – with so much of that success laying at Prem’s hands and feet. Never have the words “well done, good and faithful servant” been more fitting. I know he will always be there cheering us forward to even greater heights, just as we are now with him and his family.
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Steve Goddard has agreed to assume the role of interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development effective today, pending final approval of the board of regents. Since July 2014, Steve has served as associate vice chancellor for research. Previously he served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. A faculty member since 1998, he has served on the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women, the ADVANCE-Nebraska Faculty Committee, the Faculty Senate's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and led a campus-wide task force studying the potential role and impact of MOOCs (massive online open courses).
Before joining the University, Goddard worked in the computer industry for 13 years, including nine as president of his own company. A Minnesota native, he received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Please join me in welcoming Steve to this critically important leadership role and in thanking Prem Paul for his immeasurable impact on the University of Nebraska.
We wish them both the very best in the future.