University Park

Penn State names new vice president for research

University Park, Pa. — Henry C. "Hank" Foley, dean of Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology, has been named the University's vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Foley succeeds Eva J. Pell, who in August was appointed Under Secretary for Science for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

"Hank Foley is a tremendous choice to lead Penn State in remaining an important international center of research in the 21st century," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "Throughout his tenure at the University, Hank has demonstrated a vision for research and scientific inquiry that will serve him well in this position."

Foley, who earned his doctorate in physical and inorganic chemistry from Penn State in 1982, has been dean since 2006. Foley is responsible for providing leadership in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and solutions services to a wide array of information technology organizations. He also plays an important role in coordinating the educational programming for the College across all campuses of the University.

The College of Information Sciences and Technology enrolls more than 1,100 students. Under Foley's leadership it was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance by the U.S. National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The college was recently designated an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From 2004-06 Foley served as the University's associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives, where he was responsible for the development of major new research initiatives and worked closely with state and federal agencies to enhance Penn State's research opportunities.

Foley also provided overall leadership for the University's Homeland Security Coordination Council, the Office of Military and Security Programs, the Worldwide Universities Network, the Center for Space Research and the Animal Resource Program. One of his primary responsibilities was to assist with the development of major new initiatives that bring interested parties together from disparate colleges and geographic locations.

From 1991-2000, Foley was a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Delaware. He joined the Penn State faculty in 2000 as Walter L. Robb Family Endowed Chair and head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He has been a professor of chemical engineering, chemistry, and information sciences and technology at Penn State.

Foley now will oversee research at Penn State, which ranked ninth among the nation's public universities in receiving federal research and development funds in fiscal 2008. Industry sponsored research expenditures in 2008 exceeded $100 million, ranking Penn State third among the nation's universities. Total research expenditures for 2009 reached $765 million.

Penn State's Graduate School is one of the largest in the nation, with graduate students enrolled at the University Park and Harrisburg campuses, as well as Penn State Erie, Penn State Great Valley, and the College of Medicine at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Certain professional degree programs are also offered off-campus and through the Penn State World Campus.

The Graduate School has awarded more than 70,000 degrees to date. Penn State enrolls more than 12,500 graduate students. International graduate student enrollment is at a record high, with nearly 2,500 students enrolled from around the globe.

Foley will begin his new role in January. An interim dean of the College of IST will be appointed, with a national search to be launched soon.

Henry C. Foley Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated November 18, 2010