Carnegie Mellon University
March 23, 2017

Bhagavatula announced as interim vice president for research

In an email to the Carnegie Mellon community, Provost Farnam Jahanian writes: 

Beginning April 1, Gary Fedder temporarily will step away from his role as vice provost for research in order to act as interim CEO and executive director of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, the independent institute founded by Carnegie Mellon University that will receive more than $250 million in federal and non-federal funds to develop a center for advanced robotics manufacturing in Pittsburgh.

As one of the university officials who helped develop the proposal for this historic venture, Gary has played a pivotal role in its establishment. During this interim period, Gary will work closely with Howie Choset, a professor in the Robotics Institute and the institute’s chief technology officer, to help the ARM Institute build momentum toward its goals of developing, demonstrating and facilitating early adoption of novel robotic solutions for manufacturing. Gary also will assist the board of directors as they undertake a nationwide search for a permanent leader.

I am pleased to announce that Vijayakumar “Kumar” Bhagavatula, the current associate dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs and the U.A. and Helen Whitaker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering, has agreed to serve as interim vice provost for research. Kumar will assume overall responsibility for research administration and policy at the university and will oversee the Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research Integrity and Compliance and the Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation.

Dean Jim Garrett has appointed Jonathan Cagan, the George Tallman and Florence Barrett Ladd Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as the new associate dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs in the College of Engineering, succeeding Kumar. These transitions also will take effect April 1.

These temporary changes in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research will ensure that the transformational opportunity provided by the ARM Institute yields the maximum benefit for CMU, Pittsburgh and the world, while at the same time continuing to build momentum in our research enterprise at a very important moment.

Please join me in thanking Kumar for his willingness to serve in this critical capacity and wishing Gary well in his temporary leadership position at the ARM Institute.