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Tuscaloosa, AL 35486
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Executive Director of Alabama Transportation Institute
701101 – VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH
The University of Alabama seeks a visionary full-time Executive Director of the Alabama Transportation Institute (ATI). The Executive Director, reporting directly to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, will hold a tenured, full professor faculty position in an appropriate academic department at The University of Alabama (UA).
UA, having doubled in size since 2002, is the nation’s fastest-growing flagship university. UA currently enrolls more than 38,100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and now attracts more than half of its students from out-of-state. Additionally, in recent years UA has invested $2.5 billion in campus buildings and infrastructure, including over $400 million in world-class research facilities. As part of the Peter Bryce Campus acquisition, the University also has significant land and facility holdings available for allocation to the research mission. External grants and contracts for research, instruction, service and fellowships reached record levels for UA in fiscal year 2018 and grew by 85% over the last five fiscal years (2014-2018). In December 2018, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education designated UA as a Very High Research Activity doctoral university or “R1.” In June 2019, the Office for Research and Economic Development launched its Five-Year Strategic Plan to help facilitate the growth and impact of the research enterprise. In fiscal year 2019, total sponsored awards grew by more than 33%.
Building on this momentum, with a forward-looking focus on growth in faculty and research prominence, UA plans to significantly increase the size of the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the coming years, with an eye toward research synergies and addressing our national and global challenges. These investments create exciting opportunities, perhaps unique in the nation, in terms of the potential for research advancements over the coming decade.
About the Alabama Transportation Institute
The Alabama Transportation Institute (http://ovpred.ua.edu/alabama-transportation-institute/) serves as a planning, research and policy resource to advance a 21st century transportation system. It brings together a nationally recognized team of research and development professionals seeking innovative solutions to the challenges of building and maintaining a transportation system that provides safety and mobility for Alabama’s citizens, while providing efficient freight movement, stimulating economic growth and conserving energy resources. Better roads and bridges lead to better jobs for Alabamians throughout our state.
This interdisciplinary Institute enables Alabama to lead the way on emerging issues like developing creative solutions for financing the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, advancing transportation safety research, and evaluating the impact that a quality transportation system will have on Alabama’s economic future. The Institute serves as an independent resource that develops unbiased information for use by local, state and national leaders in developing transportation policy. The result is more informed decision-making that leads to innovative, data-driven, cost-effective solutions. All of the best minds, under one umbrella with a common purpose, will find better solutions for the future.
ATI is a foundation of UA’s Strategic Plan to “Increase the University’s productivity and innovation in research, scholarship, and creative activities that impact economic and societal development.”
ATI embraces the University’s strategic objectives by:
• Leveraging the University’s strengths to create new opportunities for supporting various transportation-related research and policy matters;
• Investing in infrastructure that promotes a thriving transportation and transportation policy enterprise;
• Cultivating, supporting, sponsoring, and conducting research that enriches the University’s transportation research.
ATI is an umbrella organization, consisting of a set of core facilities and research centers and institutes. Current affiliated centers and laboratories include the Transportation Policy Research Center, Center for Advanced Public Safety, Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies, Center for Business and Economic Research, Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research, Center for Sustainable Infrastructure, and the University Transportation Center for Alabama, as well as others. In addition, ATI serves as an incubator for the development of new centers.
Faculty from multiple UA departments and colleges are affiliated with ATI including Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics; Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; as well as faculty in the Culverhouse College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences, among others.
ATI fosters collaboration across the University, as well as with other academic institutions, industry, state and federal governmental agencies, and private foundations.
The ATI Executive Director has following responsibilities
• Provide a vision for collaborative transportation and policy research through effective leadership that embraces the full range of disciplines represented by ATI.
• Develop ATI’s national and international profile.
• Partner with staff and the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to identify, promote, and contribute resources to strengthen ATI and manage its portfolio.
• Work closely with existing centers affiliated with ATI to ensure their growth and success.
• Stimulate the development of new research centers that are consistent with the ATI research focus, and leverage unique research resources within the University.
• Foster and support high quality research and scholarly activities within ATI by ensuring a stimulating, collegial, and well-managed environment.
• Work with academic units to attract, retain and develop faculty and staff who promote academic and research excellence within ATI and contribute to the successful development of ATI.
• Manage resources effectively to ensure ATI is self-sustainable.
• Engage a range of internal and external stakeholders to identify research opportunities and partnerships.
• Oversee regular meetings of the ATI Coordinating Council, consisting of the directors of involved research centers.
• Establish and foster an external Advisory Council.
• Assess gaps and meet the need for common resources and facilities across ATI-affiliated centers.
Required Qualifications of the Executive Director
• Strong academic record and eligibility for the rank of Full Professor in an appropriate academic department at The University of Alabama.
• A PhD in a relevant discipline.
• Extensive research experience working in an academic, industrial or government research setting.
• At least 10 years of experience leading successful cross-disciplinary research teams, as evidenced nationally and, preferably, internationally.
• Evidence of a firm understanding of the full range of disciplines represented by ATI.
• Strong evidence of being a trusted and effective colleague.
• History of successful and effective staff management and pro