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Office of the Provost

About Rob Clark

Rob Clark became the tenth provost of the University of Rochester in 2016. He is also a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Rob Clark

Clark succeeds Peter Lennie, who stepped down as provost in June 2016. Clark serves in dual roles as provost and senior vice president for research. 

As provost, Clark is responsible for advancing the University’s academic, teaching and global engagement missions, in addition to accelerating the University’s progress as an internationally distinguished research institution. The provost additionally provides leadership to select units of the University, including Information Technology, River Campus Libraries, the Memorial Art Gallery, the University of Rochester Press, and the University Health Service.

Clark was named interim senior vice president for research in 2012, and accepted the permanent role a year later. The senior vice president of research oversees a portfolio of programs and units—as well as the University-wide collaboration—that make up the research enterprise, including the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the Sponsored University Research Group, Office of Research Projects Administration, Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of Research Alliances, Office of Human Subjects Protection/Research Subjects Review Board, the URVentures, and the University’s Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI). Additionally, the senior vice president manages the University’s online academic initiatives and the research component of information technology.

As senior vice president for research, Clark has orchestrated a comprehensive review of information technology, supervised efforts to pilot online programs, and helped secure $5 million of support for the HSCCI through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. He was instrumental in bringing to the University the Visualization-Innovation-Science-Technology-Application (VISTA) Collaboratory lab, with support from New York State and IBM. The VISTA lab is part of the HSCCI and is a critical asset in the University’s infrastructure for becoming a leader in the field of data science.

Most recently, Clark has been recognized for his critical role in Rochester becoming the headquarters for the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a consortium of universities, companies, and federal agencies joined together for the development of optics-based manufacturing technologies. Rochester was selected to receive this designation and $600 million in federal and state funding based on a winning proposal submitted to the Department of Defense;  Clark served as lead coordinator for  the University of Rochester team that created that proposal. He also manages the University’s leadership role with AIM Photonics and now serves as chairman of the nonprofit institute’s board of directors.

As Hajim School dean since 2008, Clark has grown and strengthened the faculty, and introduced cross-disciplinary master’s programs, including the MS in technical entrepreneurship and management in collaboration with the Simon Business School. He also established a Center for Medical Technology Innovation jointly with the School of Medicine and Dentistry with an MS program in biomedical engineering that provides two months of clinical experience for students.

During Clark’s deanship, the school’s undergraduate enrollment has increased from 747 students in the 2008–09 academic year to 1,543 in the 2014–15 year. At the same time, the test scores of admitted students also increased.

He also successfully led Hajim’s ABET accreditation efforts in 2009, and has provided key leadership in the school’s 2016 fundraising campaign goal, which was achieved, ahead of schedule in March of 2015.

Clark joined the University in 2008 from Duke University, after serving as senior associate dean and dean of the Pratt School of Engineering. His expertise in the science of acoustics and in bionanomanufacturing has led to 130 journal publications and earned him awards including the Lindsey Award of the Acoustical Society of America, the National Science Foundation Career Program Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the NASA Group Achievement Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Acoustical Society of America, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.