Tech names new vice president for research

COOKEVILLE – After a very rigorous national search, Jennifer Taylor has been named as the new vice president for research at Tennessee Tech University. 

“Dr. Taylor has over 20 years in progressive senior administrative roles at research institutions and an extensive background in research and economic development,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. 

Currently, Taylor is the assistant vice chancellor for Research and Innovation, and the director of Sponsored Programs, at the University of Arkansas. Prior to her current role, Taylor served at multiple institutions as a director involved with grants and research, including Vanderbilt University and the University of Louisville. At Vanderbilt, she was the assistant director of the Office of Sponsored Programs.

She has served as a peer reviewer for three National Institutes of Health panels. She is currently the deputy editor of the “Journal of Research Administration” and is the associate editor-in-chief of the “American Journal of Health Promotion.”

Over her research career, Taylor has been involved in grants and contracts which have received more than $7.5 million in funding.

Taylor holds a doctorate in health psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, along with an executive MBA from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Kentucky. 

Her appointment was approved unanimously by the Executive Committee of the Tennessee Tech Board of Trustees at a specially called meeting held April 21.

Board chairperson Trudy Harper said research at Tech has made some great strides in recent years, with a lot of opportunities to improve in the future.

“This faculty and the university are committed to research,” Harper said.

Tech set a new all-time high for sponsored research in 2018-2019, breaking $20 million. For 2019-2020, the university has already topped $18 million, with a little more than two months remaining in the fiscal year. The university has set a goal to reach $40 million in sponsored research by 2025-2026.

“Tennessee Tech has a tremendous foundation to build on,” Taylor said during the committee meeting. “I think we have some great opportunities, and I look forward to working with everyone to move the needle on some of those.”

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