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Monday, December 17, 2012

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Julian Facenda Named Executive Director of Research Foundation

Julian Facenda was appointed recently to the position of executive director of the Old Dominion University Research Foundation (ODURF).

A 15-year veteran of the Research Foundation, he had been serving as interim executive director since the departure of Ruth Smith earlier this year. Prior to assuming that role, Facenda served the foundation as its director of finance since 2002, working closely with the Office of Research, led by Vice President Mohammad Karim, and with research faculty across the ODU community.

Facenda was the unanimous choice of the faculty and lay members of the ODURF board of directors for the foundation's top position.

Speaking on behalf of the board, Research Foundation President Douglas Weiss noted Facenda's exemplary leadership during a challenging period of assessment and realignment necessary to assure the ODURF's charge to serve the university and its research faculty.

He added that the board had received a clear endorsement of Facenda's efforts to improve customer service, provide stability among staff and contract administrators, and restore trust with the research community.

"The deans, department heads and principal investigators who spoke on behalf of Mr. Facenda acknowledged that the Research Foundation has made significant strides, creating a more responsive and agile organization over the past nine months," Karim said.

While realignment is not yet fully completed, Facenda spoke to additional work already under way to improve the foundation's financial reporting systems, PI portal and other areas of automation, noting that several additional key hires are anticipated in early 2013. He expressed confidence in the foundation staff and commended them on the professionalism they have exhibited throughout the reorganization, especially in light of a record growth in the number and complexity of research proposals and contracts over the same period.

The foundation, which supports and administers more than $90 million in research and sponsored programs, fulfills a vital role in ensuring ODU's continued growth as a research institution.

"Among its more critical roles is assuring compliance with the complex and expanding regulatory framework that is required by federal agencies and national research bodies," said Karim. "At the same time, the foundation must be flexible and adaptive in seeking solutions that provide Investigators the resources and guidance they need to be successful within this highly regulated environment."

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