The University Record, February 8, 1993

Neal recommended as vice president for research

By Sally Pobojewski
News and Information Services

Homer A. Neal, professor and chair of the Department of Physics, will be recommended to the Board of Regents as vice president for research.

If approved by the Board at its Feb. 18–19 meeting, the appointment will be effective Sept. 1. Neal will succeed William C. Kelly, who will retire as vice president for research on Aug. 31.

“We are extremely fortunate to be able to attract someone with Homer Neal’s range of experience and expertise to this important post,” said President James J. Duderstadt. “Homer is not only a nationally recognized scientist in his own right, but he also has an unmatched breadth and depth of experience in national science policy issues.

“His experience on the National Science Board and a number of other national bodies makes him unusually well-qualified to lead the University’s research efforts. He has testified numerous times before Congress on science funding and science policy. And he comes to this position with senior level administrative experience on two other campuses.

“As chair of the Department of Physics,” Duderstadt noted, “he has provided outstanding leadership. He has attracted distinguished faculty and talented students, and has worked diligently to improve physical facilities.

“We are moving from one exceptional vice president for research to another. Bill Kelly has served as vice president for research for three years with distinction and grace. His steady leadership, deep understanding of research issues, and wise counsel have been of great benefit to all of us. I am deeply grateful for his tireless service to the University,” Duderstadt said.

Neal joined the U-M in 1987, coming from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where he was provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1981–86 and professor of physics.

In 1980–86 Neal was a member of the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation. He chaired the National Science Board Committee on Undergraduate Science Education, the National Science Foundation Physics Advisory Committee, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Career Choices of Talented Students. He also served as a trustee of the Scientist’s Institute for Public Information and the Universities Research Association.

Neal continues to serve on many national scientific groups, including the Superconducting Super Collider Board of Overseers, the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies Board of Trustees. He has been a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 1972.

Neal is an experimental high energy physicist. He is presently involved in a major experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory designed to search for the smallest constituents of matter and to study their interactions. He also plans to participate in early experiments at the Superconducting Super Collider now under construction.

Neal, who received his Ph.D. degree in physics from U-M in 1966, taught at Indiana University in 1967–81 and was dean of research and graduate development there in 1976–81.

His many honors include a 1980–81 Guggenheim Fellowship, the Stony Brook Medal, and an honorary doctorate from Indiana University, where he also received his B.S. degree in 1961.