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Ohio State executive vice president of research, innovation and knowledge named president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Wang helped lead record-breaking research and development at the university

Grace Wang

Grace Wang, The Ohio State University’s executive vice president of research, innovation and knowledge, has been named president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, one of the nation’s first technological universities.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Grace, and I know you join me in wishing her the best as a continued partner in higher education,” said President Kristina M. Johnson in a message to students, faculty and staff Monday.

Wang joined Ohio State in December 2020 to help lead the university’s cutting-edge research, creative expression and scholarship. Over the past two years, she has worked closely with university leaders, research faculty and staff, and critical partners at the state and federal level to create a vision and structure for the Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge — including record-breaking research and development expenditures of $1.236 billion in FY21 and the vibrant future of Carmenton.

During Wang’s tenure, Ohio State was awarded eight major cross-disciplinary research centers with total, multi-year federal funding of $122.9 million. Areas of focus range from artificial intelligence to Imageomics to Starlab, a NASA-funded effort to develop a new generation of commercially based, human-occupied space stations.

Her work helped establish the university’s partnership with Intel to bolster research and build a workforce pipeline that the company and its suppliers require. Ohio State also launched the President’s Research Excellence program, providing seed support for 41 cross-disciplinary teams focused on research that has the potential to have a major impact on society and garner external support.

“Our momentum in advancing research excellence is only accelerating,” Johnson said. “Please join me in expressing our gratitude to Grace. Her outstanding contributions — including the development of an exceptional staff and leadership team — will ensure that Ohio State’s research-and-discovery engine continues to grow.”

Wang’s last day at Ohio State will be March 1, and a nationwide search for a successor will begin immediately.

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