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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Vice chancellor of research to leave UC Davis for new position

Vice Chancellor Prasant Mohapatra named the University of South Florida’s provost and vice president of academic affairs


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org


Vice Chancellor of Research Prasant Mohapatra is leaving UC Davis for the University of South Florida (USF), where he will become the university’s provost and vice president of academic affairs effective March 1, according to a recent press release

Mohapatra has been at UC Davis as a member of the faculty since 2001 and took on the role of vice chancellor of research in 2018, according to the statement on his departure. During his tenure in the Office of Research (OR) at UC Davis, funding increased for research across several disciplines, including public health and medicine and food and agriculture technologies. The university received a record-breaking $846.7 million in external funding in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and last year that number surpassed $1 billion

Andy Fell, a news and media relations specialist for UC Davis, said that the search for a new vice chancellor of research is already underway nationwide.  

There will be an interim vice chancellor to fill the position after Prasant leaves until the recruitment is complete,” Fell said. 

A press release from Feb. 7 announced that Professor Emeritus Jeffery Gibeling will serve as the interim chancellor for research beginning March 1. He will serve for an estimated six months. UC Davis Chancellor Gary May will soon form a recruitment advisory committee, according to the release, to conduct the search for the next vice chancellor. 

Gibeling began his career at UC Davis as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering and holds multiple degrees from Stanford University. He has served in various academic leadership positions at UC Davis throughout the years, including as chair of the Academic Senate, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, vice provost of graduate education and more. 

The OR is in charge of accepting research funding and awards, assisting faculty in developing research studies and managing several research programs and facilities, according to their website. Fell said that the OR will continue normal operations as Mohapatra prepares to depart and Gibeling steps in. 

In a letter to students, USF president Rhea Law shared her thoughts about the addition of Mohapatra to their staff.

“With his strong teaching, research and leadership experience, I am confident Dr. Mohapatra will build on our momentum and take USF to new heights of academic excellence,” Law said.

According to the overview for the position, the provost is the second-ranking officer at USF, managing a budget of $626 million to “further the university’s academic mission.”

Mohapatra did not respond to requests for comment as of Feb. 5. 

Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org