Research Foundation Appoints Executive Director (12/12/2012)

The following announcement is being sent on behalf of Mr. Douglas A. Weiss, President of ODU Research Foundation:

By unanimous agreement, the faculty and lay members of the Board of Directors of the Old Dominion Research Foundation have appointed Mr. Julian Facenda to the position of Executive Director, effective immediately. Mr. Facenda, a 15 year veteran of the Research Foundation had been serving as the interim Executive Director since the departure of Ms. Ruth Smith, earlier this year. Prior to assuming this role, Mr. Facenda served the foundation as its Director of Finance since 2002, in which capacity he worked closely with the Office of Research led by Dr. Mohammad Karim, and with research faculty across the ODU community.

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Research Foundation President, Douglas A. Weiss noted Mr. Facenda’s exemplary leadership during a challenging period of assessment and realignment necessary to assure the Research Foundation’s charge to serve the University and its research faculty.  He added that the board had received a clear endorsement of Mr. 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. 

While realignment is not yet fully completed, Mr. Facenda spoke to additional work already underway 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 over $90 million in research and sponsored programs, fulfills a vital role in assuring 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. 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.