University Economic Development Association
Title Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Organization / Institution Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Department Office of the Provost
City, State San Luis Obispo, CA
Information THE POSITION: The Office of the Provost at Cal Poly is conducting a nationwide search for a Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The successful candidate will be an inspiring and innovative leader with the proven capacity to help lead the University in evolving its research culture and accessibility to partners in a way that stimulates interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration, garners diverse funding, provides unique opportunities for students, and advances the mission of the University in the region. Core to the mission of this enterprise will be a focus on delivering a “learn by doing” research experience for students and provide professional growth for faculty. Equally, a critical aspect will be for the VP to be an effective leader and liaison around intellectual property (IP) expectations between all parties and steward of the University’s IP policy. The Vice President for Research and Economic Development will report to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.Primary duties and responsibilities of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development include:

  • Provide creative vision and leadership in promoting the value of a diverse range of scholarly and applied research activities and industry relationships for faculty, staff, and students;
  • Provide leadership to expand scholarly opportunities and partnerships with external corporate and industry relations;
  • Support and further develop Cal Poly’s extensive undergraduate research agenda;
  • Provide administrative oversight and leadership for Cal Poly’s Technology Park, as well as numerous new and established Centers and Institutes;
  • Be entrepreneurial in pursuing potential collaborations and serve as the point-person for inquiries regarding potential collaborations with corporate and industry partners;
  • Lead outreach aimed at fostering economic development at Cal Poly;
  • Lead the development of policies which reflect best practices related to university and industry relations and applied and basic research;
  • Create and generate relevant documentation for alliances and industry relations;
  • Facilitate intellectual property and technology transfer;
  • Facilitate relationships with industry for research and commercialization collaboration;
  • Work collaboratively with the President, Provost, Deans, Department Chairs and Heads, representatives of University Advancement, Graduate Education, Extended Education, Administration and Finance, and Cal Poly Corporation to promote, facilitate, and develop sponsored and applied research and external and corporate relationships;
  • Collaborate with University Advancement to serve as an external corporation and industry relations lead representative;
  • Provide leadership and management expertise in the supervision of direct reports, including the Dean of Research, and relevant planning and fiscal activities.


  • A terminal degree;
  • Three years of demonstrated success in upper-level management in higher education;
  • Direct experience in industry, industry partnerships with institutions of higher education, and/or a strong portfolio of economic development activity;
  • Experience in facilitating relationships for Advancement purposes;
  • A distinguished record of scholarly and research activities;
  • A successful record of partnering with external corporate and industry partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and apply laws, regulations, and policies;
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute to the continued growth of scholarly and research activities for students and faculty colleagues within the university setting;
  • Demonstrated record of or ability to being a strong advocate for the value of student research;
  • Demonstrated record of advocacy for faculty efforts in research, scholarship and creative activities;
  • Demonstrated record of respecting and participation in shared governance practices;
  • Possess superior interpersonal, written and oral skills in communicating with campus and external constituents;
  • The ability to represent the university effectively; and
  • Possess qualities including integrity, transparency in decision-making, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

COMPENSATION: Salary is commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. Cal Poly offers excellent fringe benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement participation in the Public Employees’ Retirement System and educational benefits for eligible employees. All rights associated with the appointment are governed by the Management Personnel Plan adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees.

THE UNIVERSITY: Founded in 1901, Cal Poly is one of only five comprehensive polytechnic universities in the nation, with approximately 18,000 undergraduate, 120 post-baccalaureate, and 900 graduate students. Cal Poly is a residential campus with an on-campus student population of over 7,200, making it the largest student-housing program in the California State University (CSU) system. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Cal Poly #1 among public master’s universities in the Western United States for 19 consecutive years. A primarily undergraduate university, Cal Poly offers 64 baccalaureate degrees and 32 master’s degrees. Operating on the quarter calendar system, Cal Poly takes pride in its “Learn by Doing” approach to teaching and learning, which has characterized Cal Poly since its founding. One of the 23 campuses of the California State University system, Cal Poly has a unique statewide mandate as a polytechnic university.

The university is organized into six colleges: Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Architecture and Environmental Design; Liberal Arts, Orfalea College of Business; Engineering; and Science and Mathematics. Two-thirds of the university’s students major in agriculture, architecture and environmental design, business or engineering. Programs in engineering and architecture rank among the top in the nation. Cal Poly owns approximately 10,000 acres of land, is one of the largest land-holding universities in the nation, and has deep connections with the agricultural industry of California. Cal Poly is among the most selective universities nationwide; student quality is high, with applications significantly exceeding admissions. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Cal Poly is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

There is tremendous potential to grow applied and basic research at Cal Poly, as well as industry partnerships. The faculty has adopted the teacher-scholar model and the total research dollar awards and augmentations for the past six years is $124,706,433. The University benefits from active and experienced advisory boards at the Presidential, college, and departmental levels, with over 600 industry, community, and educational leaders serving.

The successful candidate will join Cal Poly at an exciting time, under a relatively new President and members of his executive team including the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Administration and Finance, Vice President for University Advancement, Vice President for Student Affairs, and several new academic deans. In addition, Cal Poly is in the process of launching a significant comprehensive fundraising campaign — the second comprehensive campaign in Cal Poly’s history. The first campaign, which ended in 2004, successfully raised $264 million.

THE COMMUNITY: San Luis Obispo, a city of 44,000, is located 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean and midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California’s scenic Central Coast. The city has a small but very vibrant downtown area. The Central Coast boasts many high quality wineries, beaches, art galleries, live music events, farmer’s markets and other excellent public education resources and recreational facilities. The area has an outstanding climate, with an annual average temperature of 70.2 degrees.

REVIEW, APPLICATIONS AND NOMINATIONS: The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. However, to ensure full consideration, applicants are encouraged to submit materials by December 15, 2013. The anticipated starting date for the position is July 1, 2014. Nominations and inquiries should be made to Deborah Hodson, Consultant, Isaacson Miller. To apply, visit to complete the required online Cal Poly Management Employment Application and include in your application (1) the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least five references, including two from faculty; and (2) salary history for the last three years. Completed applications must be submitted to Requisition Number 103044. In addition, each applicant must provide as separate attachments to the online application the following documents: (1) cover letter; (2) detailed curriculum vitae or resume; and (3) personal statement. Please indicate Requisition Number 103044 on all attachments.

Contact Academic Personnel:
Phone: (805) 756-2844

Inquiries, nominations and copies of applications can be submitted to, or at the address or phone number listed below.

Deborah Hodson or Lindsay Gold
Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4906
Fax: 415.655.4905

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.
Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.