Nachtmann Named Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation

Heather Nachtmann
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Heather Nachtmann

Heather Nachtmann, professor of industrial engineering, has been named senior associate vice chancellor for research and innovation, effective Nov. 1.

Nachtmann’s role will focus on providing a comprehensive review of the operations in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, minus the Institute for Integrative and Innovative Research (I3R) initiative, which is seeking a founding director.  

She will work with John English, the vice chancellor for research and innovation-designate, to provide a comprehensive analysis of the services needed by a modern research office and map those services to a structure focusing on efficiency and efficacy. She will examine the office’s organizational structure, work functions, system integration, and resource allocation and needs. Nachtmann’s appointment will begin Nov. 1, the same day as English’s appointment as vice chancellor.

The role will be the number two authority in the VCRI office but will not carry supervisory responsibilities and will effectively operate as a consultant within the office. Nachtmann will retain a 50 percent faculty appointment to conduct research and service activities as professor of industrial engineering and Earl J. and Lillian P. Dyess Endowed Chair in Engineering.

English said Nachtmann’s expertise as a researcher and administrator would provide valuable insight as the VCRI office prepares for the future.

“Dr. Nachtmann has an outstanding record as a faculty member, administrator and research center leader,” he said. “She is internationally recognized in her field for both her scholarship and service, and her long tenure at the University of Arkansas gives her the context necessary to lead this initiative.”

The decision to bring Nachtmann into the office was motivated by a desire to maximize the opportunities ahead for research and innovation on campus, English said.

“The VCRI team has been doing excellent work,” he said. “This critical period of growth in the University’s research and innovation history is the right time to examine our operations and ensure our efforts align with our current and future needs. The future is bright for our researchers and industry partners, and with Dr. Nachtmann’s expert analysis, we will move forward confident we are ready for all that is to come.”

Nachtmann said she was looking forward to further supporting the University’s research mission.

“I am honored to step into this role,” she said. “The VCRI office is vital to our research mission, and I am excited to expand my research purview beyond the College of Engineering and learn more about research administration as a member of the VCRI team. I have had the opportunity to work with several members of this team over the past 20 years as a principal investigator, research center director, and associate dean for research. I look forward to bringing a faculty user perspective as we work to support the VCRI team in their critical mission to facilitate and enhance research and innovation activities of our faculty, staff, and students.”


Andy Albertson, director of communications
Office of Economic Development

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering


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