Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2002
Walker to step down as leader of RUGS
George E. Walker, who has served as Indiana University's vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School for more than a decade, has announced his plans to step down from that position during the 2002-03 academic year.
Walker, 61, has led the Office of Research and the University Graduate School (RUGS) through an extraordinary period of change, growth and success. External research funding at IU has increased from $113 million in the 1989-90 academic year to $293 million in 2000-01.
Under Walker's leadership, several new research centers were created, including the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics, the Center on Congress and the Center for Mathematics Education. Walker helped formalize an Office of Technology Transfer, which evolved into the Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI). He has worked to increase inter-campus collaboration on research efforts.
During his tenure, the Graduate and Professional Students Organization has been strengthened, the Chancellor's Fellowship Program was established, and the Graduate House was established as a site for graduate programs and a place for graduate students to meet.
"George has had a truly outstanding career at Indiana University, as both a faculty member and an administrator. His leadership in the areas of graduate education and research has allowed this institution to maintain and enhance its status as a national leader. And he always has been a valued source of common-sense wisdom about the challenges facing the university," said IU President Myles Brand.
"Indiana University has always been tremendous to me, from the time I first came to campus as an assistant professor. I've served under three presidents and always have felt a great sense of support and shared purpose," Walker said.
In January 2001, Walker was appointed as a senior scholar of the California-based Carnegie Foundation. In that position, he is heading a study on the current state of doctoral programs, which prepare the next generation of university teachers. The project's goals are to support and study new experiments in doctoral education with leading graduate programs, to document and analyze the character of those initiatives, and to offer specific recommendations to educators and policy makers about the continued vigor of doctoral education.
Walker said the increasing demands of his work with the Carnegie Foundation have made it more difficult for him to handle both jobs. When he leaves IU, Walker will continue his work with the Carnegie initiative. He said he will be flexible about the exact date of leaving his job at IU to facilitate a smooth change in leadership. The university will announce the process for choosing his successor at a later date.
"It says a lot about George's reputation and leadership skills that he was selected for this role in such an important higher education initiative. While I am pleased that he has this great opportunity with the Carnegie Foundation, I know we will miss him here at IU," Brand said.
Walker received his master's and Ph.D. degrees from Case Institute of Technology. He came to Indiana University in 1970 as an assistant professor of physics. He became a full professor in 1976. He served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1976-79 and as chairman of the Department of Physics from 1986-89. He became vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School in 1991.
He said this is a good time for a transition, because of the current strength of the Graduate School and the university's research efforts.
"There are wonderful opportunities for further excellence, for which the university will require vigorous new leadership in research and graduate education," Walker said.
Walker has been active in a long list of professional organizations. He served as president of the Association of American Universities/Association of Graduate Schools, and as chair of the Council of Graduate Schools and the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools. His association with the Educational Testing Service included service on the Graduate Record Board and as chair of the Test of English as a Foreign Language.