05/08/2013 01:41 PM
BATON ROUGE -- LSU’s Kalliat T. Valsaraj has been selected to serve as the university’s
vice chancellor of research & economic development. Valsaraj, currently associate
vice chancellor of research & economic development, has been at LSU for more than
27 years. He will assume the responsibilities of this position beginning July 1.
He replaces Interim Vice Chancellor of Research & Economic Development and Boyd Professor
Thomas R. Klei, who will return to his research role at the LSU School of Veterinary
Medicine. Klei has served the university for more than 38 years.
“I feel honored to be asked to lead the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development
as its next vice chancellor. I plan to focus on creating an environment at LSU that
will emphasize multidisciplinary research in the areas of energy, environment, coast,
computation, biological, social sciences, arts and the humanities,” said Valsaraj.
“Fostering and improving various economic development activities and industrial ties
will be another of my strategic goals. My aim is to help elevate the LSU research
profile that will positively impact the lives and well-being of all the citizens of
the state of Louisiana whom we serve.”
In addition to his current administrative role at ORED, Valsaraj also holds several
prestigious professorship titles, including the Charles and Hilda Roddey Distinguished
Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Ike East Professor of Chemical Engineering.
He also served as chair of the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering in LSU’s College
of Engineering for several years.
“After reviewing a strong pool of applicants, the search committee conducted campus
interviews of five highly qualified candidates, and Dr. Valsaraj stood out from the
others because of his distinguished academic research and teaching record, his proven
administrative and leadership abilities, and the strategic plan for research & economic
development at LSU that he has championed,” said Joel Tohline, director of the search
committee and director of LSU’s Center for Computation & Technology.
Valsaraj arrived at LSU in 1986. He has a background in biology and chemistry, with
an M.S. degree in chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, and a Ph.D.
in chemistry from Vanderbilt University. He received the Charles E. Coates Award,
which is jointly awarded by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American
Chemical Society professional chapters in Baton Rouge. He is a Fellow of both the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, and the American Institute
of Chemical Engineers. He has also been recognized as a Distinguished Research Master
and a Rainmaker at LSU.
During his time at the university, Valsaraj has played a large role in improving industrial
relations in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering. He has procured more than
$19.5 million in research support, and is currently funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research
Initiative, or GoMRI, for his research on oil dispersants.
“We are excited to see the vision Dr. Valsaraj has for LSU’s Office of Research &
Economic Development come to life,” said Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Stuart
Bell. “His experience as an administrator and as one of the university’s preeminent
researchers will serve the office – and the university – in good stead as we move
forward to meet the challenges facing higher education and research today.”
The Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development serves as the Chief Research
Officer for the university, reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost.
The position provides a leadership role in national and international activities regarding
research policy and guides LSU in defining, prioritizing and energizing emerging research
View Valsaraj’s CV at http://www.lsu.edu/faculty_staff/vcsearch/cvs/KalliatValsaraj.pdf.
Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2013