URBANA — University of Illinois President B. Joseph White today announced that he has recommended Avijit Ghosh, dean of the College of Business at the Urbana-Champaign campus, to serve as the next vice president for technology and economic development for the three-campus University system.
Subject to approval by the Board of Trustees at its November meeting, Ghosh will assume the senior University-wide administrative post on matters related to technology and economic development effective Jan. 1, 2008.
“Technology impacts everyday modern life, and economic development is a core mission of the University of Illinois,” said Trustee Kenneth Schmidt, vice chair of the Board’s technology and economic development committee. “The assignment of the next vice president in this role will be to ensure the university is making maximum contributions to economic development and job creation in Illinois and that we are a powerhouse in capitalizing on the economic value of our faculty’s prodigious research creativity and inventiveness.”
White said his recommendation of Ghosh for the vice presidency comes with strong support from the chancellors on the Urbana, Chicago and Springfield campuses and with the concurrence of the University Senates Conference.
“I’m pleased to recommend Avijit because he is the ideal person for the job,” White said. “The College of Business under his leadership set high aspirations and maintained its national reputation for excellence with top-tier programs. Avijit is adept at maximizing the spires of excellence within the University through interdisciplinary initiatives within the college, such as the Hoeft Technology and Management Program and the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership. His vision for the future of the business college led to the fundraising for and construction of a new instructional facility and a doubling of the college’s endowment to provide student scholarships and faculty support.”
Ghosh’s knowledge of University technology and economic development matters is drawn from his service as College of Business dean and from having co-chaired earlier this year a comprehensive review, at White’s direction, of the operations and performance of the Office of the Vice President for Technology and Economic Development (OVPTED).
The Office of the Vice President for Technology and Economic Development oversees the transfer and commercialization of University-based technologies and intellectual properties. The OVPTED seeks to support the growth and development of Illinois’ high-technology economy while strengthening the University’s education and research programs by providing faculty, staff and students support services to guide new technologies and innovations from initial disclosure to patent protection, marketing, licensing and, if appropriate, new company start-up.
Reporting to the OVPTED are the University’s research parks and Offices of Technology Management in Urbana and Chicago, Illinois Ventures LLC, EnterpriseWorks and incubation facilities. The vice president for technology and economic development reports to the University president.
Ghosh, 57, has been dean of the College of Business and a professor of business administration since 2001. Prior to joining the U. of I., Ghosh served on the faculty and in a series of senior administrative posts at New York University’s Stern School of Business between 1980 and 2001. He taught at the University of Iowa while earning a master’s degree in 1977 and a doctorate in 1979. Ghosh received his bachelor’s degree from Calcutta University in India in 1970, and he earned a post-graduate diploma in management in 1974 from India’s Xavier Institute.
Urbana campus Provost Linda Katehi will soon communicate plans for continuing leadership at the College of Business.
White commended Interim Vice President for Technology and Economic Development James A. Weyhenmeyer for his service during the last nine months. “Jim has my thanks for his dedication and loyalty,” White said. “Jim has done an outstanding job in maintaining the momentum of our technology commercialization, economic development and research parks.” Weyhenmeyer stepped into the interim role in January, when former Vice President David Chicoine left to become president of the South Dakota State University, and will return to his post as associate vice president.