The University of Wyoming has appointed a 14-member committee to conduct a nation-wide search for the new vice president for research and economic development.

Current Vice President Bill Gern will retire at the end of the fiscal year, after serving for 23 years.

The vice president for research and economic development oversees the research of UW’s faculty staff and students and guides the university’s public research mission. The VP is also responsible for promoting the university’s research program to stakeholders and directing UW intellectual property technology transfer and commercialization efforts, according to a UW press release.

UW Institutional Communications Director Chad Baldwin said while familiarity with Wyoming and the region is not a requirement for the position, other areas of expertise that are a must.

"It is safe to say that the committee will look for a highly qualified academic professional with experience in higher education research - someone with a Ph. D, a strong research background and someone who has worked at a major research university," Baldwin said.

Baldwin also said that the candidate will need to have experience with technology transfer and working with state agencies to increase economic development.

The search committee is chaired by Michael Pishko, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The university issued a request for information to identify a national firm to help with the search.