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Northeastern appoints new senior vice provost for research

Art Kramer - director, Beckman Institute; professor, psychology

Northeastern University has appointed Arthur F. Kramer the new senior vice provost for research, effective May 2, 2016. He will bring extensive academic leadership and transdisciplinary research practice to this critical role in helping to continue elevating Northeastern’s research portfolio to new heights.

Kramer has more than 25 years experience in academic administration and comes to Northeastern from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he directs the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. He worked with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and administrators to open the institute in 1989, and led the university’s intelligent human computer interaction group—which is one of the institute’s primary transdisciplinary research thrusts—for more than a decade. Since taking over as director of Beckman in 2010, external funding awarded to the institute’s more than 200 faculty members has increased by more than 50 percent.

“I am very excited about joining the Northeastern community,” Kramer said. “Under the leadership of President Aoun, Senior Vice Provost for Research Mel Bernstein, and members of the senior leadership team in collaboration with faculty and staff, Northeastern has rapidly become an internationally competitive research university. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with the faculty, staff, students, and administration to further promote Northeastern’s distinctive research and educational culture, with a commitment to use-inspired, solution-focused research. Clearly, Northeastern is at the threshold of devising additional novel interdisciplinary solutions to important societal challenges, and it is an honor and a privilege to assist the faculty, students, and staff in these important endeavors.”

Over the past nine years Northeastern has more than doubled its research portfolio, and later this year the university will open the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, which will expand its capacity to engage in path-breaking research across disciplines. Kramer will work closely with James C. Bean, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, to continue this upward trajectory.

“Art Kramer brings tremendous talents and achievements to Northeastern on three fronts,” Bean said. “As a researcher himself, Art has been highly successful at ground-breaking, funded research; as a collaborator, he has been exemplary at bringing together groups of faculty to compete for large center grants; and as an administrator Art leads one of the world’s foremost interdisciplinary research centers, the Beckman Institute. We are excited to have Art Kramer bring these experiences to Northeastern just when we are bringing the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex online.”

Clearly, Northeastern is at the threshold of devising additional novel interdisciplinary solutions to important societal challenges, and it is an honor and a privilege to assist the faculty, students, and staff in these important endeavors.
— Arthur F. Kramer

Under Kramer’s leadership, the Beckman Institute now includes 1,500 researchers across 50 departments and 11 colleges. The institute also provides hands-on mentored science education to 1,100 students annually and recently developed a citizen scientist program to train older adults in becoming ambassadors for science and engineering in the community.

During his time at the University of Illinois, Kramer served as co-director of National Institutes of Health-funded Center for Healthy Minds for five years and led the expansion of research and educational facilities for the campus, including in the area of bioimaging. He is also a professor and the Swanlund Endowed Chair in Neuroscience and Psychology, and his recent research has focused on the understanding and enhancement of cognitive and neural plasticity across the lifespan.

While serving in a range of administrative positions at the University of Illinois, Kramer has also helped secure major research center grants, provided hands-on research mentoring to minority students, and supported the university in diversifying the student body, faculty, and staff.

Kramer’s career features a number of prestigious memberships to professional societies and other appointments. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, serves on six editorial boards, and is the former associate editor of the journal Perception and Psychophysics.

Kramer holds a doctorate in cognitive/experimental psychology from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Kramer will succeed Mel Bernstein, who completed his tenure in this role in December.