Distinguished Engineer-Physicist Named UIC Vice Chancellor for Research
Mitra Dutta, distinguished professor and head of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former senior executive with the U.S. Army Research Office, has been named vice chancellor for research at UIC, pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Dutta has served as interim vice chancellor since January, overseeing a research enterprise with annual expenditures of more than $340 million. UIC ranks 52nd among U.S. universities in federal research funding.
“Dr. Dutta’s outstanding performance as interim vice chancellor and her distinguished record as a researcher, administrator and teacher make her the ideal choice to take on this vital role,” said UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.
In accepting the position, Dutta said, “It’s a privilege to serve in this position and work with so many excellent researchers across our campus. We want to provide the best environment possible for our faculty to carry on their important work.”
The vice chancellor is responsible for the enhancement of excellence in research throughout the campus, and assuring academic integrity in research endeavors and compliance with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to research, including protection of human participants in research trials. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research also plays a facilitative role in such areas as development of research programs in departments and colleges, research centers, and collaborative research efforts involving extra-campus groups; acquisition and maintenance of multi-user and multi-disciplinary research equipment and facilities; seed funding of new research initiatives and faculty; technology transfer; technology commercialization and economic development; generating sponsorship for new research initiatives and facilities; pre-award sponsored research activities; negotiation of sponsored research contracts; and interdisciplinary research activities.
Dutta replaces Dr. Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, who stepped down from the vice chancellor position to become the university’s vice president for health affairs, overseeing the clinical activities of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.
Dutta joined UIC in 2001 to head the newly formed Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A longtime senior researcher and director with the Army laboratories who supervised $310 million in grants to universities, she combined that professional experience with adjunct professor appointments at nearby universities, including Rutgers, Maryland, North Carolina State and North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
A past recipient of the Society of Women Engineers’ Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor, Dutta has authored about 300 journal publications and book chapters and co-authored or co-edited seven books. She has 30 patents and several more in application status. She has won numerous honors for pioneering research in novel heterostructure optoelectronic devices and characterization of compound semiconductor materials. Since joining UIC, she has been principal or co-principal investigator on about 20 grants totaling more than $7.5 million.
Dutta received a B.Sc. from Gauhati University in India, an M.Sc. in physics from the University of Delhi, and a master’s and doctorate in physics from the University of Cincinnati.
UIC ranks among the nation’s leading research universities and is Chicago’s largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state’s major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.