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Vice Chancellor Mladen Vouk to Retire

Mladen Vouk, vice chancellor for research and innovation and a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, will retire on July 1, 2024. 

Vouk has nearly 39 years of service at NC State, first as a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science, including 12 years as a department head, and then nearly 10 years in different administrative roles with the Office of Research and Innovation (ORI). For the last five years, he has served as NC State’s fifth vice chancellor for research and innovation. 

“I want to thank Mladen for his many years of dedicated service to NC State,” Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “Under his leadership, we have seen extraordinary growth in our research enterprise. He has been an exceptional leader and colleague, and the difference he has made at NC State will be felt for many years to come.” 

During his tenure in ORI, NC State’s research enterprise has experienced tremendous growth — and reached record levels of annual activity. Incoming sponsored awards are now nearly $500 million; outgoing proposals have grown to more than $1.8 billion; and in fiscal year 2022, sponsored research expenditures exceeded $633 million. This growth can be partly attributed to the exceptional efforts Vouk, his team and NC State faculty made during the pandemic. According to NSF HERD research expenditures data, NC State ranks among the top ten universities (without a medical school) nationwide. The university’s cumulative technology transfer portfolio has also grown consistently — and ranks among the top ten.

“It has been a tremendous honor to, over the last four decades, work with NC State University students, faculty and staff; watch the university transform; and contribute to and help grow its successes in research, education and outreach,” Vouk said.

Vouk is a highly respected computer scientist and an IEEE Fellow. He served as head of NC State’s computer science department from 2004 to 2016. Under his leadership, the department’s research grew to record heights — and became one of the top producers of computer science talent in the country. From 2002 to 2012, Vouk also served as an associate vice provost for information technology. Driven by teaching and research needs, in 2004 he co-invented, with colleagues from the NC State Office of Information Technology, the Virtual Computing Laboratory (VCL). VCL is one of the world’s first academic production cloud computing systems — and is still used today. In 2014 he founded the NC State Data Science Initiative, which eventually spawned the NC State Data Science Academy. Before becoming vice chancellor, Vouk served as associate vice chancellor for research and administration from 2016 to 2018. 

A recipient of the IEEE Distinguished Service Award, the IEEE Golden Core Award and the IFIP Silver Core Award, Vouk has authored or co-authored over 300 publications. He has conducted pioneering and groundbreaking research in cloud computing, software engineering, scientific computing and analytics, information technology and education, and high-performance networking and computing. Vouk earned a Ph.D. in solid-state physics at King’s College London and a master’s degree in computer science at NC State. 

Alyson Wilson, senior associate vice chancellor for research and professor of statistics, will serve as the interim vice chancellor for research and innovation, effective July 1, 2024. Wilson joined NC State in 2013. In 2020, she became the associate vice chancellor for national security and special research initiatives with ORI. 

Jim Pfaendtner, the Louis Martin-Vega Dean in the College of Engineering, has agreed to chair a national search for this position. The search process will begin early in the 2024-2025 academic year.

This post was originally published in Office of Research and Innovation.