Presidential seal

June 1, 2020

Dear SDSU Community,

As we continue to strengthen and support our outstanding research, creativity and entrepreneurship, I am pleased to announce that Grant McGimpsey has been named Vice President for Research. Grant’s appointment becomes effective on Oct. 1, following the retirement of Stephen Welter.

In this role, Grant will focus on substantially expanding and elevating our research enterprise. Working with campus deans and other vice presidents, he will further promote interdisciplinary work and innovative practices, and encourage greater connection to industry partners, foundations, and public funding agencies in support of faculty research.

Grant has a depth of experience in faculty and leadership positions across academia, and is well positioned to build upon our momentum as a top research and Hispanic-Serving Institution. As reinforced by our developing strategic plan, our research mission is core to who we are, and touches nearly every corner of our university and the communities we serve.

In his previous role, Grant was at University of North Dakota where he served as Vice President for Research and Economic Development, and Dean of the Graduate School. In that role he led the substantial growth and development of their faculty research portfolio, and oversaw the University’s research strategic planning and implementation, the development of multi-investigator and multidisciplinary research infrastructure, and also the increase of their external research funding by 60% in just three years.

In his role as Graduate Dean at the University of North Dakota, he enriched the graduate student experience and supported programs that matched student and workforce demands. Before North Dakota, Grant served as the Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, at Kent State University, and also as the Associate Provost for Research and Bioengineering Institute Director at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Since 2010, he has also served as an economic development advisor and consultant to organizations within both the public and private sectors across the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to faculty appointments at Kent State University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Grant served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Max-Planck Institute for Radiation Chemistry.

He earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science, both in chemistry, from Brock University in Ontario, Canada. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Queen’s University, Kingston, also in Ontario. He went on to complete two post-doctoral programs at the National Research Council of Canada.

As we prepare to welcome Grant, I wish to express my profound gratitude to Stephen Welter, who has served as the Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Affairs and has also been critical in the development of our research infrastructure and University culture, as well as the shared vision for the SDSU Mission Valley Innovation District. Stephen announced in Fall 2019 his plans to return to the faculty this year. Under his leadership, our community reached a record $148.5 million in grant funding in 2018-19, along with significant improvements to and investments in SDSU’s research enterprise.

I also thank Heather E. Canary, Director of the School of Communication, who chaired the search committee, and appreciate the work of the other members:

  • Elva Maria Arredondo, professor in the School of Public Health
  • Edward Beasley, professor and chair of the Department of History
  • Christine Cook, analyst/educator, Graduate and Research Affairs
  • Michèle G. Goetz, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the SDSU Research Foundation
  • Alicia M. Kinoshita, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
  • Hala Madanat, professor and director of the School of Public Health
  • Jeff Roberts, dean of the College of Sciences
  • Ming-Hsiang Tsou, professor in the Department of Geography
  • Satchi Venkataraman, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering
  • Fridolin Weber, professor in the Department of Physics
  • Kelsey Bajet, secretary for the Associated Students Graduate Student Association (who graduated from SDSU in May)
  • Jasmine Arpagian, doctoral student in the Department of Geography

I look forward to working with Grant in the coming months to prepare for his successful beginning in October. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Grant to our community.

Adela de la Torre
San Diego State University President