Lawrence Carin, chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named Duke's next vice provost for research.
As a leader of Duke's billion-dollar research enterprise, Carin said he wants to help faculty succeed in any ways he can. "My job as I see it is that I want to listen really hard to faculty and then take what I learn to make things better."
"Larry is the ideal person for this position," said Sally Kornbluth, who will become provost on July 1. "His successes as a department chair, as a leader of a strong research team, and as a multi-disciplinary collaborator, reflect his commitment to fostering a highly interactive environment in which exciting research can flourish."
Carin, 51, joined the Duke faculty in 1995 as an associate professor of electrical engineering and was promoted to professor in 2001. In co-authoring more than 270 academic papers, his work in statistical analysis and electrical engineering has touched on such diverse fields as artificial intelligence, video analysis, neuroscience, cancer, infectious disease, voting behavior and music. His work on bomb detection is perhaps best known, and led to the formation of a company called Signal Innovations Group in the Research Triangle Park that now has 40 employees. He recently sold his interest in the company.
"I think interdisciplinary research is a real strength of Duke," Carin said. "It's why you should be at Duke. It's why you should want to come to Duke. And it's just a lot of fun to collaborate."
As vice provost, he succeeds James Siedow, who is returning to the biology faculty after 12 years in the role.
"Larry comes to this job at just the right time after Jim Siedow's long and distinguished career and accomplishments in the position," said Provost Peter Lange. "The research environment beyond Duke is in considerable flux, creating both anxieties and opportunities for Duke researchers. Larry will bring initiative, imagination and energy to the effort to assure that Duke faculty and their research teams are able to make the most of the opportunities and continue to have the greatest possible impact on their fields of discovery and in bringing their knowledge to bear on major societal challenges."
The vice provost oversees the Office of Research Support, providing grant administration for non-medicine faculty, and the Office of Corporate Relations, which seeks research partnerships with industry. The vice provost also oversees Duke's compliance with increasingly complex regulations surrounding government-funded research and shares responsibility for Duke's Office Of Licensing and Ventures, which handles intellectual property issues related to faculty research.
"I believe that the main roles of the vice provost for research should be to lower the barriers to productive research for the faculty and to find ways to enhance research efforts across the campus," Kornbluth said. "Larry has the creativity, administrative skills, commitment and collegial attitude to very effectively meet these challenges."
The search committee to identify Siedow's successor was: John Harer, Mathematics - Chair; Dan Kiehart, dean of the Natural Sciences; Jungsang Kim, Pratt School of Engineering; Meta Kuehn, Biochemistry; Subhrendu Pattanayak, Sanford School of Public Policy; Kenneth Spenner, Sociology; Michael Therien, Chemistry; Eric Toone, vice provost and director, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative; Jennifer West, Pratt School of Engineering.
Carin received a BS, Masters and Ph.D. in engineering, all from the University of Maryland in College Park. He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife Ya and four children.