James Doolittle, with 32 years of experience in the world of research, has been named associate vice president for research at South Dakota State University.
Doolittle will start full time June 22 after serving on an interim basis since June 2010. His appointment is subject to the approval of the South Dakota Board of Regents.
“We are fortunate to bring Dr. Doolittle into this important position,” said Vice President for Research Kevin Kephart. “He has gained significant experience during his interim time and will be able to seamlessly assume the full duties of this position.”
Since 2004, Doolittle has served as director of the North-Central Sun Grant Center, where he annually managed a $57 million research portfolio on bioenergy with more than 75 subcontracts. The center oversees the Sun Grant Initiative, which is a national network of land-grant universities and federally funded laboratories working to establish a biobased economy.
“Because of his previous leadership in the Sun Grant Initiative, Jim will be able to affirm important collaborations with universities, state and federal agencies, industries and national government organizations,” said Kephart. “I’m very pleased that he will be serving SDSU in this capacity.”
By trade, Doolittle is a professor of soil chemistry and biochemistry in the SDSU Plant Science Department. He will keep rank and tenure in the discipline, but will no longer have teaching duties. Instead, as associate vice president for research, he will lead the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity,” said Doolittle. “It’s something that I’ve been doing part-time for two years. I’ve really grown to appreciate what the office does for researchers at SDSU in helping them secure federal and private funds to support their research.
“I want to continue to find ways to improve the services we provide to the faculty, to understand that the success of the faculty in their research is also a success for the university.”
Prior to coming to SDSU in 1991, Doolittle worked in the Texas A&M University Soil and Crop Sciences Department.
He first delved into research in 1980 as a research intern at Eli Lilly and Company, followed by research internships at Asgrow Seed Company in 1982 and Dow Chemical Company in 1983.
Doolittle earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy/crops and soils from Purdue University in 1982. He received both his master’s degree in 1986 and doctorate in 1991 in soil science from Texas A&M.
About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from eight different colleges representing more than 175 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 29 master’s degree programs, 12 Ph.D. and two professional programs.
The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.