Dr. Fred King, Ph.D., a 20-plus year faculty member, researcher and administrator at West Virginia University, has been named the University’s interim vice president for research, President Jim Clements announced Thursday (Jan. 26). The appointment is effective Feb. 1 and is to last a full year.

King currently serves as associate dean for research and graduate education in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, where he also holds the rank of professor of chemistry. He will continue his role as principal research officer in the Eberly College along with his new responsibilities.

“Fred King is a long-time, highly-valued member of our faculty, and has great perspective on the kind of support our faculty, staff and students need for research, scholarship and creative work,” Clements said. “He has the full authority over the coming year to ensure that best practices and an efficient, effective infrastructure are in place to provide that support to our researchers.”

King said he is excited about the opportunities ahead.

“The institution is blessed to have so many talented faculty engaged in research and scholarly endeavors that will benefit the state and nation,” King said. “I look forward to this opportunity to facilitate their continued achievements as we work together to move WVU toward its goal of becoming a research university with ‘Very High Research Activity’ as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“A wise and valued colleague of mine once said it best, ‘The success of the University lies in the success of its faculty, staff and students.’ I am excited about continuing to facilitate such success.”

King began his career at WVU in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. He then became director of graduate studies within the department prior to his appointment as Eberly associate dean for research and graduate education in 1998.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at James Madison University and his doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Virginia.

He has taught a range of chemistry courses while maintaining an active, externally funded research program generating peer reviewed publications. He has also served on dozens of service committees at WVU over the years.

Provost Michele Wheatly welcomed King’s appointment. “I have the utmost respect for Fred King,” Wheatly said. “He has worked as a faculty member as well as in college administration, both of which will make him an excellent partner in aligning our research infrastructure with the academic mission. I very much look forward to working with Fred and applaud him for stepping up at this important time in the implementation of our 2020 strategic plan.”

Dr. Christopher Colenda, chancellor of WVU Health Sciences, added: “Dr. King is an excellent choice for the interim vice president for research at WVU. He is a scientist with impeccable credentials, and just as important, he fully understands the dynamic research environment at WVU; the challenges we face; and the opportunities that lay before us as we raise our research profile at WVU.”

King’s predecessor, Curt M. Peterson, who retired in December 2011, led WVU’s research enterprise and served as president of the WVU Research Corp. since 2007.

Narvel Weese, vice president of administration and finance, was appointed interim president of the Research Corp. by its board of directors upon Peterson’s retirement and will continue in that capacity. The search for a permanent vice president is on hold and planned to be resumed later this year.

The Office of Research and Economic Development is dedicated to assisting WVU researchers in advancing their results, and putting that knowledge to work improving lives.



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