Sui Accepts Position at Virginia Tech; English Named Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Daniel Sui and Dean of the College of Engineering John English.
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Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Daniel Sui and Dean of the College of Engineering John English.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Daniel Sui will step down from his role as vice chancellor to become Virginia Tech’s vice president for research and innovation on Nov. 1.

“We are grateful to Dan for his leadership in a time of transition for the Office of Research and Innovation,” said U of A Chancellor Joseph E. Steinmetz. “He has done a great job building the infrastructure to support faculty research and improving our systems for research awards and expenditures, ensuring we are in alignment with national best practices, helping to establish and position a distinct research office following its separation from economic development. His work to help launch the planning for the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research and the accompanying facility has been helpful and much appreciated.”

A Distinguished Professor of geography, Sui has served as U of A vice chancellor for research and innovation since October 2018. During his tenure, Sui grew research expenditures to a new high of $180.2 million in 2019. Sui, an internationally renowned researcher in the area of GIS-based spatial analysis and modeling for urban, environmental and public health applications, will retain a faculty appointment and teach an Honors College course in the spring, as well as continue working on research projects with colleagues. 

In his University of Arkansas role as chief research and innovation officer, Sui was responsible for developing and implementing the university’s strategic plan for research and innovation, scholarship and creative activities. He led campus efforts to ensure the integrity and quality of research-related activities, leading to the retention of the status of “highest research activity” in Carnegie classifications. Sui was responsible for the integration of his area with graduate and undergraduate education and facilitated the preparation and articulation of campuswide research priorities for federal support to congressional representatives and government agencies. Among the highlights of his tenure were the launching of the university’s signature research areas, the expansion of the partnership between the U of A and UAMS and a record number of NSF Career award recipients.

Steinmetz has named John English, dean of the College of Engineering, to serve as vice chancellor for research and innovation, effective Nov. 1. English, who also holds the Irma F. and Raymond F. Giffels Endowed Chair in Engineering, will serve a 12-month term.

Prior to joining the University of Arkansas as dean in 2013, he served as dean and the LeRoy C. and Aileen H. Paslay Chair of the Kansas State College of Engineering. English is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and holds his B.S.E.E. degree and M.S. degree in operations research from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. in industrial engineering and management from Oklahoma State University.

“I’m thrilled John has agreed to serve in this role,” Steinmetz said. “This is a critical time in our research enterprise as we are building programs, supporting researchers and growing our awards and expenditures. The launch of the new Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research is another priority project launched jointly with economic development, and John’s experience leading one of our most productive research areas will be of great service in this endeavor as well.”  

An interim dean for the College of Engineering will be named by interim Provost Charles Robinson.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3% of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Andy Albertson, senior director of communications
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