New vice president for research and innovation brings experience, past successes

The University announced the appointment of clinical neuroscientist Kimberly Andrews Espy as its new Graduate School dean and vice president for research and innovation yesterday, replacing Richard Linton, who has directed research and graduate studies efforts on campus since 2001.

Espy, the current associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has bolstered interdisciplinary and strategic research initiatives in recent years while working in the Midwest. Last year, Linton announced plans to leave his post on or before June 30, and so Espy will begin work on July 1.

“Dr. Espy brings great passion and experience to (the University) that will enable us to build on the foundation developed during Rich Linton’s time as vice president,” University Provost James Bean said in a press release announcing Espy’s hire. “Her experience with collaborative programs and high research growth at Nebraska makes her an ideal leader for future research successes at the University of Oregon.”

The new vice president will report directly to Bean, lead strategic University research efforts and serve as the school’s chief research officer. Espy will also supervise most of the University’s multidisciplinary research centers and institutes, research infrastructure, compliance and regulatory environment, as well as innovation and commercialization efforts including the Riverfront Research Park.

As a leader of Nebraska’s research arm since 2005 — also assuming the role of Office of Graduate Studies dean in January — Espy will soon say goodbye to a campus that has seen a 181 percent increase in total research funding over the last decade. Comparably, University research funding during the same time period increased 135 percent during Linton’s tenure.

“The (University) has very talented faculty, staff and students, with a record of distinguished research, scholarship and graduate education,” Espy said in the press release. “I am honored to be selected as the next vice president for research and innovation and dean of the Graduate School.”

Espy has penned a bounty of peer-reviewed articles in developmental, pediatric and psychiatric journals, and she will hold a faculty position in the University’s psychology department. At Nebraska, she directs the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research group supported by the National Institutes of Health, which focuses on characterizing how small children control their attention and behavior.

Espy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 from Rice University in Houston and a doctorate in clinical neuropsychology in 1994 from the University of Houston. She has served as a postdoctoral fellow in the pediatrics department at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Before traveling to Nebraska, she spent nine years in the departments of psychology and family and community medicine at Southern Illinois University.

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