Kalliat T. Valsaraj Named Vice Chancellor of Research & Economic Development

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 opportunities.

View Valsaraj’s CV at http://www.lsu.edu/faculty_staff/vcsearch/cvs/KalliatValsaraj.pdf.

Ashley  Berthelot 
LSU Research Communications

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2013