When Mark Brenner joined the University in September 2005 as vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, he saw the opportunity to contribute to the infrastructure and continued growth of Nevada’s research program.
Now, nearly three years later, Brenner has announced he will retire as of June 30. He leaves behind a program that experienced a 35 percent growth in sponsored project funding for research, having increased from $70.3 million in fiscal year 2005 to $94.6 million in fiscal year 2007.
Brenner is particularly proud to note that junior faculty research grants have doubled in recent years. A number of new Web-based tools to assist researchers have been or are being implemented, including the Effort Reporting System, eSerius Animal Research Application program, Cayuse grants proposal system and IRB (Institutional Review Board) Manager. His achievements over the past three years include contributions to a new conflict-of-interest policy and streamlined handling of contracts and grants.
“We have strengthened the administrative structure for conducting research, which includes strengthened support services through the Office of Sponsored Projects,” he said.
Under Brenner’s guidance, the University has achieved qualified accreditation by the American Association of Human Research Protection Program and full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. Both accreditation programs are voluntary and indicate a commitment to quality, ethical standards and compliance.
“The University is one of relatively few to have achieved campus-wide accreditation for both its human research and animal care programs,” he said.
Brenner also worked with Marsha Read, associate vice president for research and associate dean of the Graduate School, and the Graduate Council to strengthen the graduate review program by developing a template of criteria upon which to base assessment.
“Mark has been diligent in his effort to improve the overall quality of our research and graduate education programs. The enhancements implemented under his leadership will help support the continued growth and development of our research program,” said Milt Glick, University President. “I extend my appreciation to Mark for his service to this University.”
Brenner came to Nevada from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, where he was vice chancellor for research and graduate education. He is an active member of the executive committee for compliance activities for the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, which is part of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Over the years, Brenner has been involved in other major, national organizations, including service as vice president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, a board member of the Council on Governmental Relations and a board member of the Educational Testing Service/Graduate Record Examination.
Brenner holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in plant and soil science from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in horticulture from Michigan State University.
Brenner looks forward to spending more time with family this summer, particularly since a new grandchild is expected in the coming weeks. He anticipates continuing in higher education and is considering consulting opportunities.
A national search will be launched to identify Brenner’s replacement and, in the coming weeks, an interim vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School will be named.