MOBILE – The University of South Alabama has selected a new leader for its research and outreach programs.
Lynne Chronister will assume the position of vice president for research at USA on August 6. She comes to USA from the University of Washington, where she served as assistant vice provost for research and director of sponsored programs. Chronister fills the position left vacant by Dr. Russ Lea, who left USA to assume duties as CEO of the National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc.
“USA’s research and outreach programs have a dramatic positive impact on the region through the knowledge they produce, enhancement of our health and quality of life, economic stimulation, technology transfer to industry, and the sustainable high-technology jobs they create,” said USA President Gordon Moulton.
“Lynne Chronister has extensive experience in overseeing nationally competitive research programs and will be a great asset to USA as we build further on our contributions in research and outreach.”
Chronister served as associate director of sponsored programs at USA from 1988 to 1992 and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University. She holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Vermont.
“This is an exciting time to be a part of the USA community,” said Chronister. “I had not been on campus for 20 years and am astounded at the growth the campus has undergone in a relatively short time. USA has very strategically developed campus facilities and academic and scholarly programs to be very competitive in the national and international arena. With the solid foundation that has been built, USA is poised to make even greater contributions to the advancement of new knowledge. In turn, this will further enhance the quality of life and economic growth and stability of Alabama, the Gulf Coast region and the nation. I am very thankful to be back home and to support and facilitate the next stage of USA’s research and scholarship.”
USA’s research productivity has more than doubled since 2000. In addition to creating new knowledge through basic and applied research, USA’s research program represents a major industry for the region, pumping more than $60 million per year into the economy. A specific focus has been technology transfer, or creating new technological and medical advances and transferring them to private industry for marketing and distribution. USA’s technology transfer has included projects in engineering, medicine, computer science and a wide range of scientific disciplines.
USA’s research program includes outreach initiatives that are meeting a wide range of community needs, including improvement of public schools, protection of the environment and the valuable seafood industry, improved health care, enhanced weather and hurricane prediction, and effective coastal engineering, among others. USA also focuses on the preservation of the area’s history and culture through its active arts, humanities and archaeological research programs.
USA’s research relationships with industry have been bolstered in recent years by the USA Technology and Research Park, which provides a venue for University researchers and students to work with the private sector to create high-technology industry for the area in fields such as information technology, engineering, biomedicine and telemedicine. The park stimulates entrepreneurship and new job creation. Currently, more than 600 private-sector professionals work in the park, which is located on the north end of the USA campus.
As vice president for research at USA, Chronister will oversee research growth across the institution, including interdisciplinary research efforts, resource development and orchestration of all phases of research administration. She will serve as the principal spokesperson for research administration programs and services, will engage in strategic planning for University-wide research initiatives, and ensure effective and efficient pre- and post-award processes to maintain and advance research compliance. She will oversee the activities of the Office of Sponsored Programs, the Office of Grants Administration, Research Compliance and Assurance, Technology Transfer, and the USA Technology and Research Park.
Another important aspect of her position will be to fortify and advance productive relationships between USA and the community, particularly with current and potential partners from business, industry, and government. As vice president for research, Chronister will work to advance USA’s interests with national institutes and foundations, legislative bodies, local, state and federal agencies, industry, and research consortia within the United States and abroad.
Chronister will also support the largest research endeavor in the University’s history, the Mitchell Cancer Institute. The Institute is providing exceptional patient care through innovative treatment, as well as clinical and basic research. It is the first academic cancer research institute in the upper Gulf Coast region, representing a total investment of $125 million, including a new state-of-the-art treatment and research building adjacent to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. The MCI currently employs more than 300 people and provides more than 55,000 patient treatment contacts annually.
Prior to her position as assistant vice provost for research and director of sponsored programs at the University of Washington, Chronister served in several other key positions, including associate vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Davis, where she also served on the clinical faculty and as an interim director of the Technology Transfer Center, the Office of Human Research Protection and of interdisciplinary research support. From 1997-2002 she served as director of the Office of Sponsored Projects and as interim director of the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects at the University of Utah. From 1992-1997 she was director of research administration at Mississippi State University.
She has authored and coauthored numerous publications and articles on research administration and has been invited to speak on the topic at conferences worldwide. She has received many awards for her professional contributions, including the Chermside Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration, the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Society of Research Administrators, International Who’s Who of Professionals and International Who’s Who of Women.
She is active in community service and has served on boards and committees for Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, Crusade for the Homeless, the 2002 Winter Olympics, Rotary International, Mobile Teen Resource Center and the Mobile Boot Camp Project.
She is married to Robert S. Adams, who is a professional in the field of labor relations, arbitration and mediation.