Dr. John F. Carney III, chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology, announced today (Jan. 26, 2011) that he will step down from the position on Aug. 31.
Carney announced his decision to Missouri S&T students, faculty and staff this afternoon at the conclusion of his State of the University Address (view PowerPoint presentation).
“It has been a wonderful privilege to serve Missouri S&T for nearly six years,” Carney said. “Missouri S&T is a unique jewel among the nation’s universities and has a terrific future ahead. While I have immensely enjoyed my tenure at S&T, the time has come for me to spend more time with my children and grandchildren.”
Carney became chancellor at Missouri S&T on Sept. 1, 2005.
Stephen J. Owens, interim president of the University of Missouri System, says that the timing of a national search for Carney’s successor will be coordinated with the Board of Curators’ search for a system president.
“Jack Carney has been a tremendous advocate for Missouri S&T and the technological focus that campus provides to the state and nation,” Owens said. “During his tenure, he has led S&T to remarkable achievements in student success, fundraising, research productivity and economic impact. He has put the university on solid footing for the future, but he will be greatly missed.”
Since his arrival on campus, Carney, 69, has led Missouri S&T through a series of positive changes, including a name change to strengthen the university’s national reputation, a renewed emphasis on energy and environmental research and education, a flatter academic administration, and an emphasis on private support during a time of decline in state funding.
One of Carney’s most visible changes was the decision to rename of the campus from the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) to better position the campus as a nationally recognized technological research university. The name change took effect Jan. 1, 2008, following months of discussion and evaluation.
Since the name change, the campus has experienced increases in out-of-state and international undergraduate applications as well as strong alumni support.
Carney also presided over Missouri S&T’s Advancing Excellence fundraising campaign, which resulted in $211.8 million in private funds for scholarships, faculty and program support, facilities and equipment, and corporate funding for research. The campaign, which surpassed its goal of $200 million, began in 2003 and was publicly announced in April 2007. Even during the economic downturn that began in 2008, alumni contributions to the campaign remained steady.
Missouri S&T initiated or completed several major facilities projects during Carney’s tenure – all benefiting from private funds during a time of dwindling state support. Those projects include construction and renovation of Toomey Hall, the campus’s mechanical and aerospace engineering complex, which opened in fall 2009; completion of the first building at Innovation Park, the university’s research park; construction of the Miner Dome Indoor Practice Facility for athletics; construction of a new fitness center and varsity weight and cardiovascular training rooms; and construction of the Kummer Student Design Center, which is expected to be completed later this semester. Toomey Hall was funded through private gifts, including $5 million from alumnus John Toomey, his wife Mary and their family, and proceeds from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). The Kummer Student Design Center was funded entirely through private gifts, including $1.25 million from alumnus Fred Kummer and his wife June.
Carney also secured a $3.4 million gift to establish the campus’s first endowed faculty position for energy education and research. That gift, from alumnus Wayne Laufer and his wife Gayle, is the largest ever received by the university for a faculty position.
One of Carney’s first initiatives as chancellor involved the restructuring of the campus’s academic organization from a traditional structure of schools and colleges to one that encourages more collaboration among academic departments.
A native of Massachusetts and a civil engineer by profession, Carney received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1963 from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., and a master’s degree (1964) and Ph.D. (1966) in civil engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Prior to becoming chancellor of Missouri S&T, Carney served as provost and vice president for academic affairs for eight years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. He began his academic career as a member of the civil engineering faculty at the University of Connecticut, serving there for 15 years before joining Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., as professor and head of the civil engineering department. In 1983, he moved to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he served for the next 13 years as professor of civil engineering, associate dean for graduate affairs, and associate dean for research and graduate affairs.
Widely recognized in the research community for his work in the area of impact mechanics, Carney’s research has led to the development and implementation of a series of impact attenuation devices used in motorway safety applications. One of his projects was included in the Better World Project’s 2007 publication “Technology Transfer Works: 100 Innovations from Academic Research to Real-World Application.” Carney holds 10 patents in this area.
In addition, Carney’s work with the railroad research community in Great Britain has led to new concepts for improving the crashworthiness of trains. More recently, his research has focused on developing reusable, maintenance-free impact attenuation devices for transportation safety applications. These safety devices are constructed with “smart” materials that restore themselves to their original shapes following an impact, thereby eliminating the need for costly repair operations and associated liability concerns. These reusable devices are now used extensively throughout the United States and around the world. In recognition of his life-long contributions to the field of roadside safety, Carney received the 2007 Kenneth A. Stonex award from the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board.
In January 2010, Carney received the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI, which includes colleges, universities and independent schools in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.