Just over a year ago, GW had an inauguration of its own. Although it wasn’t quite as grand as Tuesday’s ceremony promises to be, the school celebrated the inauguration of its 16th president, Dr. Steven Knapp.
One year later, we are finally seeing movement from President Knapp on one of his main goals. Among other things, our president was hired for his potential to bring a research emphasis to GW. Last month, the school announced that the brand new position of chief research officer will be occupied by Dr. Leo Chalupa.
Now, research funding may not be the sexiest topic out there, but you may think differently years down the line, when your alma mater is, as promised, a “top-tier research university.”
A big selling point of Chalupa is his record of securing high-profile grants from organizations such as North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation.
That’s a relief, considering that a good portion of the planned Science Center’s cost, which is estimated at $300 million, is supposed to come from grants and fundraising.
Knapp is on a roll for attracting highly qualified administrators. Last week, the school announced that Lorraine Voles will become the first vice president of external relations.
In a very efficient move, the school is combining the communication department and the government, international and community relations department into external relations. This will not only eliminate bureaucracy (which GW can certainly afford to spare), but as Voles said, will allow for the presentation of a “unified” GW front.
Voles comes with her own plethora of qualifications. Having worked for Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, former President Bill Clinton and Fannie Mae, GW is lucky to have her.
Amid all the inauguration madness, new administrators may not appear all that exciting, but both of these additions are good moves for GW. Hopefully, this is just a taste of what we can expect from Knapp’s administration in the future.