Virginia Tech has formed a committee to begin a national search for a new vice president for research, a position that has been filled on an interim basis since April 1, when Leonard K. Peters stepped down.

"The new vice president will guide and shape our steps toward achieving the ambitious research and scholarship goals that we set in the strategic plan. From overseeing an infrastructure supportive of the research enterprise to articulating a vision that draws upon our considerable strengths and helps move us forward, the right candidate will have an opportunity to make a significant difference for Virginia Tech," said Mark McNamee, university provost and vice president for academic affairs, who chairs the search committee.

The committee held its first meeting on Oct. 3 to review the search process, finalize the position announcement, outline qualifications, and set a timetable for its work.

In addition to McNamee, members of the 20-member search committee are Hassan Aref, dean, College of Engineering; Jim Berkson, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife sciences; Erv Blythe, vice president for information technology; Karen DePauw, dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate studies; Delbert Jones, lab specialist in the College of Veterinary Medicine; Bob Lang, research associate professor for the Virginia Tech Metropolitan Institute; Bill Madia, executive vice president of laboratory operations for the Battelle Memorial Institute; George Morgan, professor of finance and director of the Center for Wireless Telecommunications; Saied Mostaghimi, head of the department of biological systems engineering; Joseph Pitt, head of the department of philosophy and chair of the Commission on Research; Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Dave Richardson, director of the office of sponsored programs; Judy Riffle, professor of chemistry; Karen Roberto, director of the Center for Gerontology; Gerhardt Schurig, interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Bruno Sobral, director of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute; John Tyson, university distinguished professor of biology; Mike Vorster, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Construction Affiliates Program; and Bonnie Woffenden, postdoctoral fellow in plant pathology, physiology, and weed science.

McNamee asked that all members of the university community, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, identify outstanding candidates and forward nominations to the committee by contacting him at