Don Taylor will be Virginia Tech’s interim vice president for research and innovation, the university announced Tuesday.

Taylor is vice provost for learning systems innovation and effectiveness and an industrial systems engineering professor.

He steps in for Theresa Mayer, who recently announced she was leaving to become executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University.

Taylor started as an engineering professor at Tech in 2004. He previously was the interim dean of College of Engineering after former dean Richard Benson left in 2016 and before current dean Julia Ross began her tenure in 2017.

“Don’s leadership and experience in a number of areas of the university is a strength that will be critical to Virginia Tech during this period of transition for the Office of Research and Innovation,” Provost Cyril Clarke said in a university news release.

Taylor’s role will be to work with faculty and university leaders to oversee the school’s academic research enterprise, build corporate partnerships and bolster its entrepreneurial culture, according to the news release.

“I am honored to serve Virginia Tech in this important role and to work with such an accomplished group of academicians and innovators to advance the university’s research enterprise,” Taylor said in the release. “Through connections and collaborations with research and innovation directors and staff and colleagues across the university, I look forward to building upon the strength of our transdisciplinary communities and industry partnerships.”

Tech announced it will organize an international search for a permanent vice president of research and innovation this fall.

It was not clear Tuesday if Taylor will apply for the permanent job.

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