President Seligman Appoints Two to Vice President Posts

Robert McCrory, director of the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), and David Lewis, Chief Information Officer, have been named vice presidents for the University, on the recommendation of President Joel Seligman and with the approval of the University’s Board of Trustees at its May meeting.

headshot of Robert McCrory, Ph.D., University Vice President
Robert McCrory
(Photo: J. Adam Fenster)

McCrory is director of the University’s largest single research program, with an annual budget of approximately $65 million and approximately 350 employees. In addition to its leading role in the national effort to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power plants, LLE has a strong academic component both inside the University and in its relationships with other laboratories and universities. Over the years, more than 800 university students have received training at LLE and more than 200 have received doctoral degrees. Given the laboratory’s strong academic role, McCrory will retain his current title of vice provost, as well as his academic titles in engineering and physics, while¬†also serving as vice president. He will continue as a member of the President’s Cabinet.

“The Laboratory for Laser Energetics is a key component of our nation’s scientific capital and leadership, a vital component of our work toward an independent energy future, and a significant contributor to the local economy,” Seligman said. “Bob McCrory has done an outstanding job in leading the Laser Lab for more than 25 years, and I look forward to continuing to work closely together for many years to come.”

Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Kuncl said: “Few people are both vice provost and vice president. But few people have the range of strategic responsibilities managed by Bob McCrory. As vice provost, Bob will continue to have the authority needed for his academic roles. And as vice president, his title now reflects accurately both in Washington and to the industrial community the leadership role he plays at the laboratory and in the University more generally.”

McCrory received his B.Sc. in physics (1968) and his Ph.D. in applied plasma physics (1973) from MIT. He came to the University as a staff member at LLE in 1976. He was appointed to the faculty in 1984 where he is currently professor of mechanical engineering and professor of physics and astronomy.

McCrory has made numerous contributions to inertial fusion research. He was awarded the 1995 Edward Teller Medal for his pioneering research and leadership in the use of lasers for controlled thermonuclear fusion. He has served on the Director’s Advisory Committee for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and as a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. McCrory was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1985, and in 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

headshot of David Lewis, Vice President for IT and Chief Information Officer
David E. Lewis
(Photo: Brandon Vick)

Lewis, the University’s Chief Information Officer, previously also held the title of vice provost. With his new title of vice president, he will take on an expanded role in the University’s strategic information technology planning.

“Information technology is an increasingly important strategic resource for the University. It is vital to both cutting-edge research and the complex administrative functions managed in today’s research universities,” said President Seligman. “With this appointment, we are recognizing that the rapid changes in this area increasingly require coordinated leadership across the institution. I am confident that David, his staff, and their colleagues university-wide will provide that leadership.”

In this expanded role, Lewis will work closely with IT organizations and leaders across the University, including Medical Center Information Technology, which is led by Associate Vice President and URMC CIO Jerry Powell.

According to Provost Kuncl, to whom Lewis will continue to report, Lewis’s new title is a natural development.

“Dave has done terrific work in advancing several important campus-wide information technology initiatives, such as the Center for Research Computing and the recently established University IT Security Liaison Group,” Kuncl said.

“This new title recognizes those contributions, but it also does something more important. It positions the university for improved coordination and collaboration on upcoming projects in research computing and planning for modernization of student information and financial reporting systems. That strategic coordination is absolutely vital to competing at the highest levels.”

Lewis will remain a member of the President’s Cabinet, as he has been since he was appointed CIO in 2006. He joined the University of Rochester in 1997 after more than 10 years at the University of Michigan, where he served in a variety of IT leadership roles. He has an extensive background leading information technology organizations, including developing and integrating complex IT infrastructures into higher education and health care environments. Lewis is active in many national and regional initiatives, including Educause, NYSERNet, Internet2, and ACUTA.