Vice President for Research and Innovation

Job Level
Senior position
Job Category
Vice President
  • Curriculum / Program
  • Applied Tech (STEAM / Maker / CS / Design)
Job Status
Areas of Responsibility
  • Research
  • Innovation / Design


Classification: Administrator IV
Anticipated Hiring Salary: Commensurate with experience
FLSA status: Exempt

San José State University offers employees a comprehensive benefits package. For more information on programs available,  please visit

About the Position

All application materials must be submitted to the search firm.*
Candidate nominations and applications (to include a CV and letter of interest) should be submitted to the Witt/Kieffer candidate portal by visiting

The Vice President for Research and Innovation is responsible for providing leadership in identifying, securing, and maintaining extramural funding from governmental agencies, private foundations, and business and industry. The VPRI leads the planning, administration, and evaluation of university research facilities, centers, institutes, research support services, and multi-user equipment facilities, and develops recommendations for allocation of funding for research and innovation programs and activities. The position also oversees institution-wide innovation and technology transfer programs, intellectual property, and coordinates internal and external communication. The VPRI is the liaison with the Chancellor's Office and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research on system-wide research and innovation priorities and policies. As a cabinet-level position, the VPRI will provide RSCA (research, scholarship and creative activity) perspectives and linkages between Academic Affairs administration, faculty, staff, and students, and other division/university personnel and external partners.  The VPRI will provide leadership for public-private partnerships that foster innovation and grant collaborations with CSU, UC, community college, and private university partners. In addition to leading the RSCA enterprise at SJSU, the VPRI will work with IT, Advancement, Administration & Finance, and Academic Affairs to establish consistent RSCA funding messaging and be a partner in sharing SJSU's RSCA vision broadly.

This is a position in the CSU - Management Personnel Plan (MPP), and serves at the pleasure of the President. This position will require adherence to University compliance training such as: Conflict of Interest and Ethics, AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention, Information Security, and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. The person hired for this position may be required to complete an outside employment disclosure statement in accordance with Title V of the California Code of Regulations.

Minimum Qualifications

  • An earned doctorate or other appropriate terminal degree, and/or extraordinary accomplishment in a field of teaching, research, and service.

  • Demonstrated experience in the administration of research and scholarship programs, including experience dealing with research compliance issues, funding agencies, commercial enterprises, and the industrial/business sector; experience also nurturing the development of intellectual property, tech transfer, and innovative industry partnerships.

Preffered Qualifications

Experience as a Vice President, Dean, or Associate Dean for Research at a major University or research foundation with experience in strategic planning, innovation, and strong evidence of vision and leadership in research will be preferentially considered or institute or significant research experience with a national laboratory, or other private/public sector organization.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Thorough knowledge of university policies, CSU policies and state and federal laws.
  • Thorough knowledge of research, scholarship and creative activity.

  • Knowledge of budget management.

  • Proactive leadership skills, including a willingness to reach out to faculty researchers, keep them appropriately informed and professionally engaged, and work to develop and nurture their success.

  • Outstanding professional management and communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to direct the work of others and coordinate efforts of cross-functional teams.

  • Demonstrated ability to develop, implement, and manage complex projects in support of university objectives.

  • Demonstrated ability to apply analytical tools and methods to measure, forecast and report upon complex data.

  • Demonstrated ability to successfully plan and implement strategic initiatives and to inspire, motivate, develop, and mentor staff

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty and administrators to create collegial relationships that promote translational research, tech transfer and intellectual property management to promote innovation.

  • Ability to interpret University policies, and state and federal laws.

  • Ability to present information and respond to questions from internal and external stakeholders.

  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities.

  • Ability to work well under pressure with conflicting demands.

  • Ability to think globally in approach to change and new ideas.

  • A commitment to interdisciplinary research and the wide-ranging intellectual and scientific interests to understand, appreciate, and encourage innovation within and across the University.

  • Integrity and a demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of ethical behavior.

  • A demonstrated commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.

Posting Date

January 22, 2019

Application Screening

For full consideration, submit application materials by February 15, 2019.

Required Application Material

Candidate nominations and applications (to include a CV and letter of interest) should be submitted to the Witt/Kieffer candidate portal by visiting

Please note that failure to completely fill out each section of the online application may result in your application not receiving consideration.

Additional Information

Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will issue a conditional offer of employment to the selected candidate, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current CSU employee who was conditionally offered the position. 

The standard background check includes: criminal check, employment and education verification. Depending on the position, a motor vehicle and/or credit check may be required. All background checks are conducted through the university's third party vendor, Accurate Background. SJSU will pay all costs associated with this procedure. Evidence of required degree(s) or certification(s) will be required at time of hire. 


All San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Equal Employment Statement

SJSU is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action employer.  We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

It is the policy of SJSU to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities who self disclose.

Contact Information

Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D., Suzanne Teer and Jen Meyers Pickard, Ph.D., at