The University of North Georgia (UNG) has hired Dr. Andy Novobilski as associate provost for research and engagement and chief research officer, effective Jan. 15. The new position is within the university's Office of Academic Affairs.
"Dr. Novobilski has a strong record of academic and research administrative experience that will serve the university well as he strives to enhance the quality of research and academic engagement at UNG," said Dr. Patricia L. Donat, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UNG.
UNG President Bonita Jacobs announced the new position at the university's fall opening meeting as part of an overarching effort to encourage and facilitate research and academic engagement opportunities that support and enhance the educational experience.
Novobilski previously served as department head of computer science and engineering, assistant provost for research and engagement and chief research officer at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics and interim associate vice chancellor for research and technology transfer at Arkansas State University; and provost and vice president for academic affairs at Gannon University in Pennsylvania.
"UNG, as an engaged university, seeks to better the lives of both the students that attend and the communities it resides in. As a first-generation college graduate, I know first-hand the tremendous impact an institution such as UNG can have on the future success of its students, and I want to be of service to that mission," Novobilski said. "Serving as UNG’s associate provost for research and engagement will allow me to contribute to the manner in which our students, staff, and faculty engage, support, and learn with the community at-large."
In addition to 15 years in higher education, Novobilski used a $3,000 initial investment to start a software design and development consulting firm that grew to $900,000 in annual income with clients such as GTE, General Electric, Lockheed-Martin Aerospace, IBM, and others.
His research interests include academic leadership, community partnership and engagement, data mining and analytics, biomedical informatics, statistical machine learning, aviation, genetic programming, and high-performance computing.
Novobilski will be based on UNG's Gainesville Campus. Novobilski said his first priority is getting input from UNG faculty, staff and students and members of the community.
"My initial priority is simple, straightforward, and a critical component to success - to listen to the UNG community," he said. "As these meetings unfold, so will the ability to understand what is currently being done well, what resources are available to apply to new opportunities, and to gain a sense of the aspirational goals for increasing engaged scholarship opportunities for students, staff and faculty."
In announcing the new associate provost position, Jacobs also designated the 2014-15 academic year as "The Year of Engagement," and later named a committee of faculty, staff, students and administrators to facilitate the university's engagement activities.
UNG is one of only five public universities in Georgia to carry the prestigious Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which recognizes schools with an institutional focus on engagement and a commitment to service-learning and community partnerships.