Kerry on the legacy

The search for a new Vice-Principal (Research) already underway for Rowe’s August 2010 departure

Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe says he has nearly tripled research funding since taking on his position nine years ago.
Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe says he has nearly tripled research funding since taking on his position nine years ago.

After nearly 10 years on the job, Vice-Principal (Research) Kerry Rowe is ready to say farewell.

Rowe will step down from his position on Aug. 31, 2010. His decade of service will make him the longest serving Vice-Principal of research among the G-13, Canada’s top 13 research schools.

The office of the Vice-Principal (Research) is responsible for facilitating research at Queen’s.

Its portfolio includes research initiatives like the eQUIP Task Force, South African Research Centre, PARTEQ Innovations and the Centre for Neuroscience Studies.

Rowe said increasing the research funding and increasing the University’s success in acquiring major prizes for researchers are among his proudest accomplishments as Vice-Principal (Research).

“From a funding perspective I’m very pleased that we’ve got almost three times the funding now than we had when I started,” he said, adding that the annual funding for research is just under $200 million, all of which is external money.

“In the last CFI [Canadian Foundation for Innovation] competition, we ranked third in the country [for innovation], only behind U of T and the University of Montreal.”

Rowe said he continues to be impressed with the faculty’s ability to balance research and teaching, even during economic times when cutbacks are everywhere.

“I’ve been very impressed by the dedication of all the top researchers that’s I’ve met to their teaching,” he said. “Whereas at some universities you might have research professors who don’t teach, to the best of my knowledge we don’t have them here.”

The committee to hire Rowe’s replacement, chaired by Principal Daniel Woolf, has already been created. Rowe said it’s not unusual for the process to begin so early.

“Firstly they’ve got to define the profile of what they’re looking for in a candidate,” he said. “They then need to go through a search process, often they will hire a consultant to do that.

“Then they’ve got to find candidates, they’ve got to get down to a short list, they’ve got to interview candidates, persuade their preferred candidate to come, then that person has to have enough time to give reasonable notice wherever they’re currently employed to be here next August.”

Rowe said his replacement should be amiable and able to work well with colleagues from a variety of disciplines.

“One of the first criteria is to be able to get on with people,” he said. “The only power you have is the power to influence, so you need to be able to persuade people of what is good to do and how to get on with it.”

Rowe said his successor will need a vision and direction for the University that is consistent with that of the Principal’s.

“They need to understand that the University is a very diverse place and be able to work with people in humanities and social science, work with the industry, be able to work with the health sector.”

—With files from Rachel Kuper

People who want to submit their views on hiring criteria for a new Vice-Principal (Research) can e-mail before Oct. 16.

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