Julie Norris, director of MIT's Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for the past 10 years, has announced her retirement, effective Sept. 30.
During her decade of leading OSP, Norris has been one of MIT's senior spokespersons in support of the higher education research enterprise and has contributed significantly to the development of federal policies in support of research.
Commenting on her announcement, President Charles M. Vest said, "Julie's expertise and wisdom in research administration and federal relations have been of extraordinary benefit not only to the Institute, but to the nation's research universities overall. Her common sense and creativity, combined with a singular talent for bringing diverse parties together in working out solutions to thorny problems, are without peer."
Under Norris' direction, MIT developed the country's premier electronic research administration proposal development and award management system (COEUS). It has now been licensed to more than 100 institutions across the country. She has served as MIT's primary contact with federal agencies on research administration efforts, and she chaired the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR), a national organization of top research institutions. Norris also chaired the Federal Demonstration Partnership, a cooperative initiative among 10 federal agencies and 92 institutional recipients of federal funds, whose purpose is to reduce the administrative burdens associated with research grants and contracts.
"MIT is extremely fortunate to have benefited from Julie's expertise," Executive Vice President John Curry said. "Her knowledge, skills, professionalism and nationwide contacts have ensured MIT's leadership in the areas of grants and contracts."
Curry said the Institute would begin an aggressive search immediately for a new OSP director but that Norris will be available on a consulting basis during the transition. Her expertise will come into play during the negotiation for the renewal of the contract for Lincoln Laboratory and in export controls and research compliance. She also will be available to assist the new director as necessary.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 9, 2004 (download PDF).