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K2I Lecture: The Current Health and Future Well Being of the American Research University “Surviving and Thriving One Researcher and Campus at a Time”

October 30, 2012 by Brad Fenwick

Brad Fenwick | Professor - University of Tennessee Jefferson Science Fellow – U.S. Department of State / USAID Senior Vice President – Global Strategic Alliances, Elsevier


What is the state of academic research in America today? What are the major concerns facing academic research institutions and how are those issues being addressed? This presentation will share the key results and insights based on a recent study on ‘Research management practices and the current health and future of the research enterprise in the US’. This study was sponsored by Elsevier, and led by Dr. Fenwick, who conducted a series of in-depth interviews with decision makers from 25 top U.S. research universities, both public and private. Some overarching themes came to light, as well as some themes unique to institution type. Several of these themes focused on the pressures and issues academic institutions are facing in the current climate of increasing compliance and stagnant funding. In addition to these concerns, operational themes for navigating today’s research environment were also identified. These themes include research strategies and tactics, performance measurement and metrics, and decision support and information technology. The objective of this presentation is to share the results of the study with those on the front lines of research administration and program development, just as they are being shared with policy makers in Washington and sponsoring agencies. We will discuss the results and consider the question – Now that we know where we are, where do we go from here?

Biography of Brad Fenwick:

Dr. Fenwick is a Fellow with American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Professor of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, and in Microbiology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tennessee and a board certified expert in infectious diseases of animals and humans. Dr. Fenwick has vast experience in academic administration having served in various executive positions at several research universities, served as Chief Scientists for the Department Agriculture, and is a Fellow of the American Council on Education. He holds several patents, founded a biotechnology company, consults widely with governments and industry, and has given invited lectures and seminars throughout the world. He is a senior editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. In 2011 he was called to serve by the U.S. Department of State and USAID as a Jefferson Science Fellow and a science advisor in Washington, DC as part of a federal effort to inform public policy and international relations with good science on such key societal needs as education, climate change, food security, economics, and security. Dr. Fenwick completed his residency in Diagnostic Pathology at University of California, Davis and earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology at the same institution. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Beecham Award for Research Excellence, the Yarborough Medicine Award, Kansas Veterinary Service Award, Sigma Xi Outstanding Scientist and Service Awards, the U.C. Davis Distinguished Alumni Award. Recently, he has accepted the position of Senior Vice President for Global Strategic Alliances with Elsevier. In this role, he will facilitate cooperative interactions with the academic community and governmental organizations that enhances science and engineering research and educational success.

Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology

Dean of Engineering

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James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy

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Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology



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