Monday morning, Prem Paul said he will step down as vice chancellor for research and economic development at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln immediately, citing health reasons.
In a note to faculty and staff, Paul called his 15 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln the “highlight” of his career.
UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said Paul will remain a part of university faculty as a distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences.
In a separate note addressing UNL faculty and staff, Green identified Steve Goddard, the current associate vice chancellor for research, as the pending interim vice chancellor for research and economic development.
Goddard has been a part of the university since 1998 and has been the associate vice chancellor for research since 2014. Before joining UNL, Goddard worked in the computer industry for 13 years, nine of which as president of his own company.
Green said Paul helped Nebraska become “a much bigger, bolder and more impactful institution in our contributions of research, scholarship and creative activity.”
Before joining the faculty at UNL, Paul worked at Iowa State University as the associate vice provost for resarch, the associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the assistant director of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station.
During Paul’s leadership at UNL, the university became one of the nation’s fastest-growing research universities from 2001 to 2009. The university’s research department continued to grow despite a national decrease in federal research funding.
Sponsored research funding at UNL reached a record high in the 2015 fiscal year, increasing more than 12 percent to $146.9 million. In July, Springer Nature, one of the leading publishers of natural science research, named UNL one of the top rising stars in research in its 2016 Nature Index.
In his note, Paul said he believes this growth could continue, even without his leadership.
“It has been an honor to witness your achievements and to watch you dream bigger,” Paul wrote to faculty and staff. “We are a strong research university on an impressive trajectory and I know that our best days lie ahead.”