Anthem Executive   JACKSON, MS   Full-time     Research & Development
Posted on June 9, 2024


Jackson State University (JSU) seeks a visionary leader as their Vice President for Research (VP). The successful candidate will be a skilled, entrepreneurial, and astute administrator who brings significant experience in leadership, prioritization, and collaboration in a complex, interdisciplinary research environment. They will bring a strong understanding of the national funding landscape including federal, foundation, and industry support, as well as broad knowledge of research policy and compliance, including current opportunities and challenges.

In keeping with the campus’ strategic plan for advancing research, academic excellence, enrollment growth, and diversity, the VP will dramatically increase research expenditures by developing an organization and culture that brings together researchers from all parts of the campus, and by supporting, incentivizing, and identifying areas for growth, distinction, and impact. In order to do so, the VP must develop a vision and strategy that is informed by national trends in funding, as well as JSU’s existing and future interdisciplinary areas of excellence. They should also have the ability to identify new research partnerships with industry in the region and throughout the nation, as well as other external partners.

Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the President’s cabinet, the VP and chief research officer provides the dynamic leadership and vision necessary to assure effective and strategic management of the campus research enterprise. In the capacity of chief research executive for the university the incumbent works closely with other senior campus academic and administrative leaders to strengthen the research excellence and infrastructure of the campus and to expand the campus’ capacity for innovative, multidisciplinary, and large-scale programs in support of JSU’s academic mission of teaching, research, and public service. 

The VP is responsible for overseeing the campus research enterprise with responsibility for policymaking; research support; compliance; and outreach and advocacy to government, industry, fledgling businesses, and other research enterprises.

Among other duties, the VP:

  • Provides a broad vision and executive leadership for campus-wide research policy, planning, initiatives, coordination, and compliance. Promotes the highest standards of research excellence.
  • Facilitates the proposal preparation and award management processes for JSU’s extramural research and successfully identifies and increases external financial support for research activities and infrastructure.
  • Works with Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors and others to enhance research collaboration and innovation across the campus, system, and with external partners.
  • Provides leadership in support of development of major, interdisciplinary proposals sponsored by NIH, DoE, NSF, and other major extramural research sponsors which complement the campus research vision.
  • Provides faculty development for early career faculty new to grant writing.
  • Promotes a culture of scientific integrity and research compliance and oversees administration of the research compliance program at JSU, ensuring compliance with all federal regulations for research activities.
  • Oversees institutional research support including the indirect cost return program and other related programs.
  • Promotes research that is embedded in the community, partnering with community members to uplift the community.
  • Inspires and manages a diverse portfolio of innovation and development activities in coordination with the region, state, and other external partners, via technology transfer, commercialization of intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and affiliations with established companies and other industry partners. Takes advantage of the incredible opportunity to impact and strengthen a regional innovation ecosystem in the region and beyond.
  • Advances the research mission through support services and resources and by fostering partnerships and collaborations with the national laboratories, government, industry, and other research enterprises.
  • Communicates to the general public and state, national and international decision makers the possibilities created by JSU research in advancing efforts to enhance the quality of life regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Represents the campus in matters related to research and development among federal and state agencies, governments, industry, foundations, other universities and research laboratories, and others.
  • Is the campus Research Integrity Officer and the Institutional Official for purposes of research certifications.
  • Builds upon current institutional strengths, leads in identifying new and innovative opportunities for research and development, and advances the mission of and reputation of JSU nationally and internationally.
  • Oversees the division’s operating budget, allocating resources to advance the mission of the university.
  • Develops and maintains strategic plans that address challenges and opportunities and determine future directions consistent with the University mission and larger campus Strategic Plan.
  • Develops and promotes the training and professional development for the research division staff, as well as long-term succession plans for the division.
  • Leads and supports an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of the organization.
  • Advises the President with regard to long range planning and development of administrative programs, organizations, and structures that support the campus teaching, research, and public service missions.


  • Earned doctorate from an accredited institution in education with qualifications for a tenured, full professor appointment in a department represented at JSU.
  • A proven track record of success and securing funding from a variety of sources including federal/state government agencies, foundations, and other industrial sources.
  • An understanding of federal and state appropriations processes, budgeting in a complex environment, grants and contracts administration, and strategic planning with accountability measures.
  • An understanding of public higher education in an urban institution and the development of research infrastructure.
  • Ability to enhance the educational and research missions of the university by creating further opportunities for international collaboration among students and faculty.
  • Strong interactions with government agencies, corporate sector, and knowledge of national and international research agenda and enterprise.
  • Knowledge of the role of philanthropic foundations and research, scholarship service, technology, and healthcare education.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property, technology transfer, and the ability to develop a culture that balances academic research excellence and technology transfer.
  • An extensive background in leveraging and formulating successful partnerships with other universities, government agencies, and research institutions both nationally and internationally.
  • Experience with federal and state audit control guidelines.

Jackson State University, a coeducational institution, is supported by the State of Mississippi. The University is supported by legislative appropriations supplemented by student fees and federal and private grants. The location of the University in the densely populated section of Central Mississippi is such that nearly one-half of the students come from within a 50-mile radius of the institution; however, the population includes students from every county in the state. A significant number of students also come from outside the state and from foreign countries. The campus is a scenic 245-acre tract situated one mile west of the main business district of the city and is easily accessible from area U.S. Highways and Interstates. A modern airport with direct connections to major cities–north, south, east, and west–is about 15 minutes away.

From a private church school in Natchez, Mississippi, with 20 newly freed slaves to a Carnegie-designated higher research institution with a student enrollment approaching 6,000, Jackson State University’s transformation is a testament to courage, vision, and leadership. Washington Monthly magazine has annually ranked JSU among the nation’s top colleges for social mobility, research, and service, and it also is considered one of the top “Military Friendly Schools.” Accredited by the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University offers 47 bachelor’s degrees, 37 master’s degrees, three specialist-in-education degrees, and 11 doctoral degrees.

Known as "The City With Soul,” Jackson is Mississippi’s capital and largest city. The metropolitan area consists of a growing population presently estimated at 568,000. The John R. Lynch Corridor near JSU holds significant historical and cultural importance. This corridor has witnessed a rich tapestry of events, serving as a vital hub for the African American community’s social, economic, and educational life for many generations. It was a focal point of the Civil Rights Movement, with JSU at its heart, playing a pivotal role in advancing racial equality and justice in the 1960s. The West Jackson neighborhood is an expansive area of almost a dozen different communities, multiple schools, hundreds of businesses and nearly two centuries of history. The Jackson Zoo, JJSU, and the Mynelle Gardens Botanical Center are found here.

Jackson, chosen by AAA Southern Traveler Magazine as the Best City in Mississippi, is noted for its beautiful architecture – from the magnificent Capitol building to the modest home of Medgar Evers, a slain civil rights worker. Convention South Magazine editors also selected Jackson among the top 10 “Ministry-Minded Cities” in the South. Life in Jackson pulses with music – gospel, blues, rock, jazz, classical and everything in between – born from a tradition steeped in the arts.

Scores of unique museums and outdoor attractions, hundreds of events and festivals, three historic cultural districts, innumerable visual and performing arts, hot sports action, and cool nightlife await you in Jackson. The local cuisine is classic Southern, ranging from satisfying Soul Food to creative Southern Fusion, to international fare with a Southern flair.

The Search Committee invites letters of interest and nominations to be submitted directly to the search firm, Anthem Executive. Correspondence should include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submit materials to Michael Ballew, Scott Watson, JR Wheless, or Florene Stawowy at:

While applications and nominations may be accepted until the position is filled, interested parties are strongly encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible to assure consideration. Anthem and JSU reserve the right to end or extend the application and nomination process at any time. Expressing interest is the first step in receiving consideration and does not make one an applicant for the position.

SU is an EEO employer. All applications are considered without regard to race, color, national origin, disability (whether actual or perceived by others), religion, age, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law. 

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