12:00 AM

Whitacre, Beatty named to leadership posts at Ohio State

Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee today announced two leadership positions. Caroline C. Whitacre has been named vice president for research and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-27th District) has been named senior vice president for outreach and engagement.

Whitacre had been serving as interim vice president for research since August. She was formerly associate vice president for Health Sciences Research and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University Medical Center. From the time of her appointment as vice dean in 2001, OSU Medical Center total research awards increased from $97.3 million to $171.8 million in 2007.

She is a professor and former chair of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics and a leading authority on autoimmune disease. Her research focuses on the immunological mechanism and gender differences in multiple sclerosis.

Whitacre had been serving as interim vice president for research since August.
Whitacre has received continuous research support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1982. She currently has five NIH grants as well as several other funding awards from the Health Resources and Services Administration and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Whitacre was selected for the College of Medicine Teaching Award on three occasions. She received her Ph.D. in medical microbiology from Ohio State in 1975 and has been a faculty member in the College of Medicine since 1981. She also is the recipient of a 2008 Ohio State Distinguished Scholar Award.

"Carol is an innovative, highly successful researcher who also brings an exceptional record of administrative leadership. As interim vice president she proved uncommonly effective, and I am excited about the continued research momentum she will help to advance," Gee said.

As vice president for research, Whitacre will oversee the university's efforts to stimulate new research and support ongoing activities, which currently include $720 million in research expenditures. Whitacre replaces Robert McGrath, who left the university in August for a position with Battelle.

Beatty will begin her new role at Ohio State in January, following the completion of her final term as a state representative.

"This university was founded to improve lives and enrich communities, and our faculty, staff, and students fulfill that mission through thousands of programs in our neighborhoods and around the world," said Gee. "Joyce is one of the most accomplished public servants I know and exactly the right person to help us take a more comprehensive approach and make our programs even more effective."

Beatty has served in the Ohio House of Representatives since 1999, representing major portions of the city of Columbus. In 2006, she became the first woman leader of the Ohio House of Representatives' Democratic Caucus.

As a legislator, Beatty has taken an interest in health care, winning first-of-its-kind state funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings for working women without health insurance. She also gained national attention for drafting a financial literacy bill to help students understand and handle their finances. This year, Ebony magazine named her as one of its 150 most powerful African-Americans in the nation.

At Ohio State, outreach and engagement activities through the colleges have long built meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations with partners outside the academic community, said Gee. Partnerships include those in education, business, and public and social service. Programs range from educational assistance in Ohio's urban school districts to Gulf Coast rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina, to vision and dental screenings in underserved communities.

The new senior vice president position will coordinate and strengthen outreach efforts across the university, leveraging resources and enabling additional collaborations.

Under Beatty's leadership, a strategic direction for Ohio State's outreach and engagement activities will be developed. She will be responsible for providing leadership and oversight for a broad array of areas, including community outreach, service learning, health and safety outreach and continuing education. She will also play a prominent role in the university's economic development efforts.

Beatty earned a bachelor's degree in speech from Central State University, a master's degree in counseling psychology from Wright State University, and has worked toward a doctoral degree at the University of Cincinnati. In 2005, Beatty received an honorary doctorate from Ohio Dominican University.