Julie Jordan Named MSU’s Chief Research Officer

Julie Jordan has been named Mississippi State’s vice president for research and economic development, MSU President Mark E. Keenum announced today.

Jordan has served in the role on an interim basis since July 2019, providing leadership for the Office of Research and Economic Development, strategic vision for the university research enterprise, and administrative oversight of research centers and institutes.

“Dr. Jordan brings incredible focus, innovation and continuity to our university’s already very robust research activities,” Keenum said. “After a national search that attracted highly competitive candidates for this important position, I have a renewed confidence in Julie’s ability to lead our university to the next level as Mississippi’s longtime leading research institution. I am sincerely grateful to our search committee for their service.”

Following the national search, three finalists were presented to the MSU community and university stakeholders prior to Jordan’s eventual selection. The search committee of faculty, staff and administrators was led by Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt.

A Columbus resident and MSU alumna, Jordan has served in multiple leadership roles at the land-grant university. From 2017-2019, she was associate vice president for international programs and executive director of MSU’s International Institute, where she worked to create and expand strategic global partnerships, as well as grow enrollment of international students. From 2010-2017, she was director of the Research and Curriculum Unit, where she oversaw a staff of 40 professionals working collaboratively with the Mississippi Department of Education to assess and shape K-12 education curricula and policy.

In her year and a half of serving as MSU’s chief research officer on an interim basis, she has worked to grow MSU’s external funding, provide additional tools for MSU researchers and enhance the university’s reach at the local, state, national and international levels. She also has worked to keep MSU’s research enterprise safely operating and assisting the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“MSU’s research capabilities and, more importantly, our outstanding students, faculty and staff, are a tremendous asset to our university, the state of Mississippi and our many research partners,” Jordan said. “I am honored to be entrusted with this role and look forward to advancing our land-grant mission as we create new opportunities for our students and our state.”

Jordan earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MSU in industrial engineering and education technology, respectively, in addition to a doctorate in international development from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has over 30 years of experience as an educator, entrepreneur and administrator in various public and private sector positions. Throughout her career, she has worked to build positive relationships among people and organizations to produce positive outcomes and identify and develop talent to empower individuals to meet organizational and personal goals.

A Carnegie Foundation R1-Very High Research Activity Doctoral University, Mississippi State is ranked among the National Science Foundation’s top 100 research institutions. As the Magnolia State’s leading research university, MSU’s research expenditures totaled $244 million in FY 2018, accounting for more than half of the total research and development expenditures reported by all Mississippi institutions. This research activity plays an ever-increasing role in Mississippi’s overall economic development efforts, with MSU being a recognized leader in several disciplines and well known for innovative partnerships, real-world impact, and offering undergraduate and graduate students unique research opportunities.

The vice president for research and economic development serves as the university’s chief research officer and is responsible for overseeing ORED staff and the leadership of several divisions, including the offices of Sponsored Projects, Laboratory Animal Resources, Environmental Health and Safety, Research Security, Technology Management, Research Compliance, and Research Development, along with the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park.

Mississippi State is home to dozens of research centers and institutes committed to transformational, multi-disciplinary research that connects stakeholders and fosters collaboration to achieve real-world results. ORED provides administrative leadership for several university-wide research centers and institutes and supports college and division-level centers and institutes.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

By Sid Salter

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