Prem Paul, who helped to oversee unprecedented growth in research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, announced his resignation Monday as vice chancellor for research and economic development.
Paul, citing health reasons, shared the news in an email to faculty and staff.
“Serving this university … has been the highlight of my career,” Paul wrote. “I am indebted to the many faculty members and staff who have made our research growth possible. It has been an honor to witness your achievements and to watch you dream bigger. We are a strong research university on an impressive trajectory and I know that our best days lie ahead.”
Chancellor Ronnie Green, in a separate email, told staff that Paul would return to the faculty as distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.
Green named Steve Goddard as UNL's interim vice chancellor for research and economic development, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
It would be difficult, Green said, to “find another person in the 147-year history of the University of Nebraska who has achieved the level of impact of Prem Paul.”
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Paul joined UNL in 2001 from Iowa State University, where he was associate vice provost for research, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Veterinary Medicine and assistant director of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station.
Under Paul's leadership, UNL was one of the fastest-growing research universities in the nation from 2001 to 2009, and by fiscal year 2015, sponsored research reached a record $146.9 million. The university was named to the Nature Index’s top “rising stars” in research for 2016.
“Prem’s vision, coupled with his relentless energy and enthusiasm to think big, has been nothing short of remarkable in how it has transformed us as a research-intensive university,” Green said.
Goddard, who joined UNL in 1998, has been associate vice chancellor for research since 2014 and previously was interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Before joining the university, Goddard worked in the computer industry for 13 years, including nine as president of his own company. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in computer science from the University of North Carolina.