Curt M. Peterson, the current interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, has been named the new associate vice president of research at West Virginia University.

I am very pleased to have someone with Dr. Petersons experience working with the Research Office team as we begin implementing the strategic plan for research and economic development for 2006-2010,said John Weete, vice president for research and economic development at WVU .

Peterson has extensive prior administrative experience as department chair and associate dean, and has an impressive teaching and research record as a plant biologist, Weete said. His selection follows a national search.

Petersons primary responsibility at WVU will be to work with faculty and associate deans in implementing the strategic plan for research. His focus will be on the non-health science areas, developing interdisciplinary research programs. Peterson also will be responsible for coordinating the WVU EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), chairing the regular meetings of the associate deans for research, and working with Dr. Tom Saba, associate vice president for research for WVU Health Sciences, in developing collaborative projects.

Dr. Peterson will be a key figure in interfacing with the federal funding agencies and helping to increase funding for research and other scholarly activities,Weete said.

The position of director of research program development in the WVU Research Office was recently renamed associate vice president for research, with only small changes in responsibilities. The new title aligns the research enterprise with other divisions of the University, including the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. Peterson will be the first to hold this position under its new title, Weete said.

Peterson earned a B.S. degree in biology from Moorhead State College in Minnesota and a Ph.D in biology from the University of Oregon. Prior to his stint at the University of Northern Colorado, Peterson spent several years teaching at Auburn University.

He will begin his new duties at WVU Feb. 1.