UO's research VP Linton announces plans to step down

Image of Rich LintonEUGENE, Ore. -- (May 26, 2010) -- Richard W. Linton, vice president for research and graduate studies at the University of Oregon since 2001, has announced his intention to resign and leave the UO no later than June 30, 2011. He plans to pursue other leadership opportunities involving research and innovation.

Over the last decade, under Linton's leadership, the UO's research expenditures have grown by 137 percent, 11th best among member institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU). From fiscal years 2003 to 2008, based on the most recent National Science Foundation data, research expenditures per UO faculty member increased by 50 percent -- third best in the AAU.

Also in the last decade, the university's gross licensing revenue has grown 20-fold, reaching $7.1 million in Fiscal 2009, yielding a 7 percent annual return on research expenditures, placing the UO in the top 25 institutions in the nation. Statewide, jobs and revenues created by companies associated with UO research have grown four-fold in the last five years, generating $26 million in revenues and more than 240 jobs in 2009.

"Rich Linton has had a dramatic impact on the UO's research enterprise and interdisciplinary initiatives during the past decade," said Jim Bean, senior vice president and provost. "Rich has been instrumental in providing critical support of faculty recruitment and retention, graduate education, interdisciplinary centers and initiatives, research infrastructure, multi-institutional partnerships and technology transfer. Rich has served the institution with great skill, energy, goodwill and dedication. He is one of the longest serving senior research officers at the same institution in the AAU, and we have benefited immensely from that tenure."

A nationwide search for a replacement for Linton will begin soon, Bean said.

"About a year ago, I decided that it would be an appropriate time for me to step aside and for the university to have a change in leadership in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies," Linton said. "I've waited until now to make my intentions known because of other administrative-level searches and key leadership changes. It is satisfying for me to leave knowing that the UO has seen increasing research accomplishments by its faculty, including sustained growth in sponsored research funding, interdisciplinary research initiatives and innovations supporting technology transfer and development. I am deeply grateful for our faculty, staff, students and my administrative colleagues who are directly responsible for these advances.”

Under Linton's leadership, 14 of the 33 interdisciplinary centers and institutes currently falling under the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies were established. Three leadership positions were created within the office to support innovation, strategic partnerships, interdisciplinary research and graduate education. Integrative science initiatives under Linton have attracted more than $200 million in private, state and federal investments for facilities, programs and infrastructure.

These include the Brain, Biology and Machine Initiative, the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories completed in 2008 and construction of the Lewis Integrative Science Building to begin later this year. Linton also was a leader in supporting the development of Oregon’s three Signature Research Centers, which focus on nanoscience, sustainability and drug discovery and are enhancing Oregon’s economic competitiveness through advancing public-private partnerships.

Linton has represented the UO nationally in the AAU, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools. In addition, he serves on the Oregon University System Research Council and on economic development groups such as the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, Lane Metro Partnership, Oregon Innovation Council, Oregon Cluster Network and the Engineering and Technology Industry Council.

Linton joined the UO in 2000. He previously served as chief research and international programs officer for the University of North Carolina System and as a chemistry professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1973 from the University of Delaware and a doctorate in chemistry in 1977 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.