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NMSU to launch search for new vice president for research

After 10 years of dedicated service as vice president for research at New Mexico State University, Vimal Chaitanya has decided to step down and return to his professor position in the College of Engineering.


“We appreciate Dr. Chaitanya’s guidance and leadership of the research enterprise at NMSU over the past decade,” said NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dan Howard. “We are pleased that he will add his considerable expertise, particularly in the field of materials science and engineering, to the College of Engineering faculty.”

The change will be effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Howard said the search for a new vice president of research will begin immediately.

“We will look for a vice president with a distinguished research career and an understanding of the importance of building research teams that cross departmental and college lines, to continue to build upon the foundation built by Vimal,” Howard said.

Howard said a new vice president for research should be in place by July 1, 2017.

Chaitanya came to NMSU in 2006 from the University of Central Florida, where he served as the director of the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center since he founded the center in 1998. He has a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a master's degree in bioengineering from Clemson University in South Carolina, and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from M.S. University of Baroda, India.

Chaitanya considers his most important achievements during his 10 years as vice president for research were the mutually respectful relationships he built with faculty and staff researchers across the campus; collaborative engagements he established with national labs, defense establishments and educational institutions; and large interdisciplinary research efforts that he promoted. Chaitanya oversaw the development and wide acceptance of the first-ever strategic research plan for NMSU, and created the strategic initiative office (now research development office) to support researchers with the development of competitive sponsored research proposals.

Chaitanya said at this stage in his career he can contribute more to the mission of the college and the university as a senior faculty and research mentor to the young faculty and the students. He said he looks forward to retooling himself and is excited to work with faculty and students through mentoring, teaching and collaborating on various opportunities to advance the university’s teaching, research and service missions.