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Thursday, June 13, 2024

New UF vice president for research takes over Jan. 30

At the end of the day, David Norton said, his job is all about helping students get the answers.

The force that drives research is the desire to answer the burning questions nobody has solved before, he said.

And when research leads to the answer, "It's just cool."

Norton, who has served as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering since 2009, will take over as UF's vice president for research Jan. 30.

He will preside over all student and faculty research at UF, from physics to psychology.

Norton succeeds Win Phillips, who was named UF's senior vice president and chief operating officer in September.

Phillips said Norton's personal research, as well as the 11 years he spent as a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, have prepared him well.

"He has the energy, experience, drive and wisdom, and we're looking forward to his leadership," Phillips said.

At Oak Ridge, Norton participated in a wide range of research, often working with physicists, chemists and other scientists.

Norton will be putting his own research on hold while he focuses on his administrative duties.

Although he said there are no immediate problems on his plate, Norton recognizes that UF is facing budget issues that could restrict research opportunities.

However, he said, "it doesn't change the fact that there are questions out there that need to be answered."

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